Robert Lee Bauer pleaded guilty Monday to stabbing and killing 40-year-old Joseph Broken Rope in December.  Bauer’s plea was to mitigated deliberate homicide.  He says Broken Rope had assaulted him moments before he retaliated by stabbing him.
Yellowstone Senior Deputy County Attorney Julie Patten said a witness backed up Bauer’s story that there was an altercation between the two prior to Bauer stabbing Broken Rope.  She said the county attorney’s office would be asking for a 40-year sentence to the Montana State Prison, the maximum possible sentence for mitigated deliberate homicide.



The state is asking for a weapons’ enhancement at sentencing as well, meaning a total of 50 years.  Public Defender Clark Mathews, who is with the office’s major crimes unit, said Bauer had pleaded not guilty to deliberate homicide in January and was being held at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility in lieu of a $400,000 bond.