Ft. Thompson man arraigned on manslaughter charge
Assistant United States Attorney
U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Ft. Thompson man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for manslaughter.
Austin P. Abernathy, age 19, was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 12, 2011. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on April 19, 2011, and pled not guilty to the indictment. The maximum penalty upon conviction is eight years' imprisonment. The charge is merely an accusation, and Abernathy is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The case stems from an incident in December of 2010 involving the death of a Ft. Thompson man.
The investigation is being conducted by Bureau of Indian Affairs, Crow Creek Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Marie H. Ruettgers is prosecuting the case. Abernathy was released on bond pending trial. A trial date has not yet been set.