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A Lame Deer man with a tribal record of assaulting his common-law wife admitted to federal habitual-offender charges Wednesday.

Aldin Ray Two Moons Sr., 37, pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic abuse by an habitual offender in U.S. District Court in Billings. A third count of assaulting a federal officer is to be dismissed under the terms of a plea agreement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia Hurd said Two Moons and Tonya Russette, his common-law wife, were drunk last Aug. 28 when they returned to their Lame Deer home on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. While Russette was caring for their 2-week-old twins, Two Moons punched her in the face several times while their other children were watching, she said.

Two Moons pleaded guilty in tribal court to the assault.

During Wednesday's hearing, Two Moons' attorney, Robert Kelleher Jr., said his client was holding the babies at the time of the assault.

Two Moons also admitted to hitting Russette in the face on Oct. 3, 2008, while he was drunk. 

Two Moons has 10 tribal arrests with four convictions for domestic abuse, Hurd said.

Senior U.S. District Judge Jack Shanstrom set sentencing for Aug. 3. Two Moons, who remains in custody, faces a maximum of five years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.

Contact Clair Johnson at or 657-1282.