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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

Friday, May 19, 2017

Oglala Tribal Member Pleads Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter

POCATELLO – Ruben Wounded Head, III, 19, of Chubbuck, Idaho, pleaded guilty today to two counts of involuntary manslaughter resulting from a drunk driving crash, Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez, announced. Wounded Head was indicted in March 2016 by a federal grand jury in Pocatello.


According to the plea agreement, on November 13, 2015, Wounded Head drove with friends to buy alcohol, and his friends left the store with two bottles of Bacardi rum and went to an area on the Fort Hall reservation known as Ferry Butte. There, Wounded Head drank one bottle of rum. Wounded Head then drove his friends back to a residence on the reservation and then proceeded to drive home. At approximately 2:50 a.m., at the intersection of Hawthorne Road and Cemetery Road, Wounded Head’s 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche crossed the centerline and crashed head-on into a Chevrolet Tahoe, killing both occupants of the Tahoe. Wounded Head’s Avalanche was traveling between 59 – 61 miles per hour at the time of crash. The posted speed limit in the area is 45 miles per hour.


The charge of involuntary manslaughter is punishable by up to eight years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release.


Sentencing will be August 2, 2017, before Chief U.S. District B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.


The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Hall Tribal Police.

Indian Country Law and Justice
BARBARA LAYMAN Public Information Officer (208) 334-1211
Updated May 19, 2017