McLaughlin Man Sentenced for Child Abuse
United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a McLaughlin, South Dakota, man convicted of Child Abuse was sentenced on December 12, 2016, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.
Fritz Eagleshield, III, age 40, was sentenced to 3 years of probation and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
Eagleshield was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 17, 2016. He pled guilty on August 22, 2016.
The conviction stemmed from an incident on December 27, 2015, when a Lieutenant with the Bureau of Indian Affairs was driving through McLaughlin as part of his patrol shift, and noticed a vehicle in an alleyway that was running and appeared suspicious. Upon approaching the vehicle, he noticed the driver’s seat was empty, but saw a small boy huddled in the back seat of the vehicle wearing only a t-shirt and boxer shorts. The boy was breathing and conscious, but shivering, as the outside temperature was -3°F.
Child Protection Services (CPS) was notified, and an investigator arrived and identified the young boy. The CPS worker also informed the Lieutenant that the victim is autistic and a special needs case. The CPS worker took the victim from the vehicle to find family placement for him.
The Lieutenant went to Eagleshield’s residence, where he was placed under tribal arrest. He admitted to law enforcement that the boy found in the car was his son, and that he must have forgotten him in the vehicle when he went for cigarettes earlier in the evening. Eagleshield further admitted that he was responsible for his son and that his actions amounted to child abuse.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Standing Rock Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.