News and Press Releases

Belcourt Man Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter

September 24, 2012

BISMARCK - U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on Sept. 24, 2012, Koleman J. Gourneau, 30, of Belcourt, N.D., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a charge of involuntary manslaughter.

On Oct. 12, 2011, Gourneau left Betty’s Bar, located west of Belcourt on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, driving his Ford Bronco. At the time, Gourneau was under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Shortly after leaving the bar, Gourneau’s vehicle struck a person, causing significant injuries to her which resulted in her death.

The charge of involuntary manslaughter carries a statutory maximum penalty of eight years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs - Turtle Mountain Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation and North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Sentencing for Gourneau has been scheduled for January 7, 2013, in U.S. District Court in Bismarck, N.D., at 2:00 p.m.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandi Sasse Russell is prosecuting the case.






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