United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that
James Leon Big Crow, age 24, of Boulder, Colorado, appeared before United States District Judge Roberto A. Lange on March 14, 2012. Big Crow pled guilty to Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 10 years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.
In the late evening hours of June 10, 2011, Big Crow and his co-defendant began drinking outside an apartment adjacent to the apartment of the victim, in St. Francis, South Dakota. Shortly after midnight, the victim stepped outside his apartment and asked the revelers to quiet down as there were children in his home trying to sleep. Big Crow punched the victim in the face and broke his jaw and caused the victim to fall backward and fracture his hip.
The investigation was conducted by Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Marie H. Ruettgers.
A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for June 5, 2012. The defendant was released on bond pending sentencing.