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Press Release

Agency Village Man Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that an Agency Village, South Dakota, man has pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Felix Duane Johnson, Jr., age 27, was indicted on January 7, 2020.  He appeared before Judge William D. Gerdes in March 2020, and pled guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 8 years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

According to court documents, on December 17, 2019, in Roberts County, Johnson unlawfully killed a human being without malice.  Johnson was the only adult in the residence at the time the minor victim, who was approximately 11 months old, drowned in the bathtub.  He was the person who was responsible for taking care of the children in the home because his girlfriend, who is the victim’s mother, was working at the time the child drowned.  Johnson admitted that the death of the child was his responsibility and that the death was a result of his gross neglect and lack of due caution and circumspection.  Johnson admitted that, while the child was in the bathtub unattended, he kept getting feelings like he should go and check on the child, but he ignored the promptings and became distracted with his mobile phone.  The child ultimately drowned in the bathtub.

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy R. Jehangiri is prosecuting the case.   

Johnson was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.

Updated March 18, 2020