News and Press Releases

St. Francis Woman Pleads Guilty to Voluntary Manslaughter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2011
Contact: Mark E. Salter
Assistant United States Attorney
605-357-2360

U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Suzanna Valandra-Neiss a/k/a Suzanna Valandra, age 37, of St. Francis, appeared before U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange on February 8, 2011, and pled guilty to an Information charging her with Voluntary Manslaughter in violation of 18 U.S.C. ยง 1112. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 15 years' imprisonment.

In December 2009, Valandra-Neiss and the victim were drinking at a bar in Valentine, Nebraska. On their way home, they began arguing as the victim drove the vehicle north into Todd County. At one point the victim stopped, got out of the vehicle, and began walking down the road. Valandra-Neiss, in anger and in the heat of passion, killed the victim by striking him with the vehicle.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Rosebud Law Enforcement Services. Assistant United States Attorney Eric Kelderman is prosecuting the case.

A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for May 2, 2011. The defendant was released on bond pending sentencing.

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