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Press Release

McLaughlin Man found Guilty of Simple Assault and Assault by Striking, Beating and Wounding

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

ABERDEEN - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a jury has convicted Kenton Wynn Walks, age 39, of McLaughlin, South Dakota of Simple Assault and Assault by Striking, Beating and Wounding following a two-day jury trial in federal district court in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The verdict was returned on May 22, 2024.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of one and a half years in federal prison and/or a $105,000 fine, up to one year of supervised release, and a $50 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Walks was indicted by a federal grand jury in July of 2022.

On April 22, 2022, law enforcement in McLaughlin was called because Walks had assaulted an elderly man by kicking him in the head. The assault occurred on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. The victim suffered a laceration on the rear right side of his head, which produced a significant amount of blood. The laceration was approximately three inches long and required six staples to be closed.

This matter was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office because the Major Crimes Act, a federal statute, mandates that certain violent crimes alleged to have occurred in Indian country be prosecuted in federal court as opposed to State court.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs – Office of Justice Services.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges prosecuted the case.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date has not been set. The defendant was ordered to self-report for sentencing on July 2, 2024.

Updated May 29, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime