States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that an Eagle Butte, South Dakota, man convicted of Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury was sentenced on March 3, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.
Joseph Anthony Little Star, age 19, was sentenced to 40 months in custody, 3 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Little Star was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 17, 2013, and pled guilty to Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury on November 6, 2013.
The conviction arose from a July 10, 2013, incident when Little Star, his wife, the victim, and others were celebrating Little Star’s recent marriage. During the party, a verbal altercation occurred between Little Star and the victim, who apparently perceived that Little Star was mistreating his new wife. After the verbal argument, the victim went home. Sometime later, he went back to the residence where the party had been held and used a metal bar to break a window. Little Star went outside to confront the victim and another verbal argument ensued. This verbal argument escalated into a physical confrontation and Little Star got the upper hand and rendered the victim unconscious. At this point, Little Star continued to assault the victim by hitting and beating him.
As a result of Little Star’s unlawful assault, the victim was seriously injured and was taken by air ambulance to Rapid City Regional Hospital, where emergency surgery was performed to relieve the pressure on his brain caused by bleeding. The victim is still being provided medical care for his closed head injuries.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mikal Hanson.
Little Star was remanded to the custody of the U.S Marshals Service to begin serving his sentence.