News and Press Releases

Two Ft. Thompson Men Sentenced for Second Degree Murder and Voluntary Manslaughter

July 5, 2012
Contact: Mark E. Salter
Assistant United States Attorney

U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that two Ft. Thompson men were sentenced on July 3, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange. Alphonso Drapeau, III, age 22, charged with Second Degree Murder, was sentenced to 210 months’ custody, 5 years of supervised release, and a $100 assessment. His younger brother, Gavin Drapeau, age 20, charged with Voluntary Manslaughter, was sentenced to 57 months’ custody, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 assessment. Both men were ordered to pay $119,687.98 in joint and several restitution.

Both men were indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2011. In April 2012, Alphonso Drapeau, III, pled guilty to a Superseding Information charging Second Degree Murder, and Gavin Drapeau pled guilty to a Superseding Information charging Voluntary Manslaughter. The convictions stem from an incident on October 2, 2011, when the victim was at a residence in Lower Brule, South Dakota. The brothers, who had been looking to confront the victim, arrived at the residence and a physical struggle ensued. Gavin Drapeau struck the victim in the head/face with a closed fist and the victim fell to the floor. Once the victim was on the floor, Alphonso Drapeau, III, repeatedly stomped on the victim's head with shod feet.

As a result of the assault, the victim was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, and on October 10, 2011, was pronounced dead by medical personnel. An autopsy ruled the cause of death to be blunt force injury of the head due to an assault.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson and Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges.

Both men were immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshal.



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