Skip to main content
Press Release

McLaughlin Man Pleads Guilty To Involuntary Manslaughter

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

U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Jody Charles Red Bird, age 33, of McLaughlin, appeared before U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann on January 2, 2013, and pled guilty to an indictment that charged him with Involuntary Manslaughter. The maximum penalty upon conviction is
8 years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both, and a period of supervised release of 3 years.

The conviction stems from an incident on June 12, 2012, when Red Bird and others were drinking alcohol in Timber Lake, while waiting for work to be done on a vehicle. Following completion of the maintenance, Red Bird and others traveled from Timber Lake to Little Eagle, and eventually decided to drive to McLaughlin. Red Bird was driving the vehicle, and while en route to McLaughlin, he lost control of the vehicle and slid into the ditch abutting the opposing lane of traffic. The vehicle rolled several times, and both Red Bird and the victim were ejected. As a result of the injuries sustained in the accident, the victim died. At the time of the accident, Red Bird had a blood alcohol concentration over three times the legal limit.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy Morley.

A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for April 15, 2013. Red Bird was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending sentencing.

Updated June 22, 2015