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Press Release

Cannonball Woman Sentenced for Two Counts of Involuntary Manslaughter

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of North Dakota

BISMARCK – U.S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on June 17, 2013, Barbara Iron Hawk, 28, Cannonball, N.D., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Iron Hawk pleaded guilty to the charges on March 15, 2013.

Judge Hovland sentenced Iron Hawk to serve four years on each count to run consecutively for a total of eight years to serve in federal prison. Judge Hovland imposed a sentence greater than suggested by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, indicating in court that this sentence was imposed because he believed the seriousness of Iron Hawk’s criminal history was underrepresented in the sentencing guideline range calculation. Judge Hovland noted that Iron Hawk’s tribal criminal history included in excess of 20 prior criminal violations involving the use of alcohol. Iron Hawk will be on supervised release for three years following the term of imprisonment. Iron Hawk was ordered to pay a $200 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund and $130,146.38 in restitution.

On Nov. 8, 2012, Iron Hawk was operating a motor vehicle on N.D. Highway 24 between Cannonball and Solen, while she was intoxicated. The vehicle nearly entered the ditch on the right side of the road, but Iron Hawk over-corrected, causing the vehicle to cross the road and enter the opposite ditch, where the vehicle flipped multiple times. Two passengers in the vehicle died as a result of the injuries they sustained in the crash.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs – Standing Rock Agency and the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Delorme prosecuted the case.

Updated January 29, 2015