Red Lake Man Pleads Guilty To Beating Man With Ax Handle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 47-year-old Red Lake man pleaded guilty Tuesday to assaulting and severely beating a Grand Rapids man’s face with an ax handle in January, according to the Department of Justice.

Deidre Y. Aanstad, an assistant U.S. attorney, said Joseph William Howard, Jr., pleaded guilty to one count of assault.

The assaulted happened on Jan. 13, 2012, when Howard attacked his victim at a house in Redby. Authorities responded to the attack, which happened on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, and found the victim with wounds all over his face, blood on the bed and walls of the bedroom.

The victim suffered multiple fractures and his left eye was wounded so badly it had to be removed.

A blood-covered ax handle was found later behind a drier inside the home.

Howard entered his plea before Judge John R. Tunheim. Howard faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.


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