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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Oglala Woman Guilty Of Involuntary Manslaughter

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Elizabeth Red Star-Benson, age 27, of Oglala, South Dakota, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on August 2, 2013, and pled guilty to a charge of Involuntary Manslaughter. 

The maximum penalty upon conviction is 8 years’ imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.

On August 31, 2012, Red Star-Benson was driving under the influence, with a blood alcohol content of .261, and rolled her vehicle on BIA Hwy 27 near KILI radio station in Porcupine.  Her four-year old son, who was not properly restrained, was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene from his traumatic injuries. 

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services, the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety, and the South Dakota Highway Patrol.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Collins.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date will be set.  The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.        

Updated June 22, 2015