Woman pleads guilty to shootings on Warm Springs Reservation
By STEVEN DUBOIS
Feb. 07, 2018
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A woman who shot her aunt and uncle at a home on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation pleaded guilty Wednesday to assault with intent to commit murder.
Rhyan Smith, 26, entered the plea at the federal courthouse in downtown Portland. She could face at least 10 years in prison at her sentencing in May.
Warm Springs police arrested Smith on March 16, 2016, after her father called to report that his daughter shot two family members — one an aunt with whom she frequently bickered. Officers said they found Smith hiding in sagebrush with an AR-15 assault weapon.
Matthew Smith told police that his daughter periodically stayed at the house where five relatives reside, and that she came home at 2 a.m. on the day of the shooting, FBI special agent Daniel Baringer wrote in a criminal complaint.
Zack Chambers, the wounded uncle, told investigators from his hospital bed that Smith knocked on his bedroom door at 8 a.m. He said Smith asked about the children at Warm Springs K-8 school, and the news that some of them were cutting themselves.
Chambers said they spoke for about 30 seconds before he told his niece he was going to bed.
"As he was turning away, he heard a shot, and turned back towards Rhyan to see a muzzle flash from a pistol she was holding," Baringer wrote.
He was shot five times, including once in the neck, and survived.
Smith then shot and wounded her aunt, Bernadette Smith, who had come out of a bathroom after hearing the gunfire.
Smith's attorney, Ruben Iñiguez, informed the court last summer that his client, who is on medication to treat schizophrenia, planned an insanity defense.
U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman said Wednesday he found Smith competent to accept a plea agreement.