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Press Release

Fort Thompson Man Sentenced for Involuntary Manslaughter

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Fort Thompson, South Dakota, man convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter was sentenced on May 14, 2018, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Zachery Lee Ziegler, age 32, was sentenced to 20 months in custody, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Ziegler was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 14, 2017.  He pled guilty on February 21, 2018.

The conviction stemmed from an incident on May 23, 2017, when the victim was a guest at a residence in Fort Thompson, where an acquaintance of Ziegler’s lived. Ziegler had purchased $20 of meth from an individual at the home, but it was “bad” so Ziegler returned to the home to get his $20 back. The owner of the residence asked Ziegler to leave. As Ziegler was leaving, Ziegler and the victim entered into a physical confrontation where Ziegler struck the victim in the head with his fist, incapacitating him on the ground.  Ziegler then fled the scene. The victim was transported via ambulance to the Sanford Chamberlain Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was subdural hemorrhage due to blunt force injury of the head due to assault.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Crow Creek Agency.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges prosecuted the case.

Ziegler was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated May 17, 2018

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime