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Press Release

McLaughlin Man Sentenced for Murder

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

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a McLaughlin, South Dakota, man convicted of Second Degree Murder was sentenced on November 20, 2017, by  U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.

Matthew St. Pierre, age 32, was sentenced to 40 years in custody, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

St. Pierre was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 18, 2016.  He pled guilty on August 4, 2017.

The conviction stems from a series of events that occurred between October 11 and October 12, 2016, when St. Pierre participated in severe beatings to his girlfriend’s five-year-old daughter.  Though slight bruising was initially detected by staff at the Wakpala, South Dakota, school and South Dakota Department of Social Services, the majority of the injuries were caused over an extended weekend.

Over the next several days, the young child was hit about the head, neck, chest, abdomen, legs, and arms.  As a result of the beatings, the young child suffered severe abdominal injuries, which led to internal bleeding and ultimately death.  The young child was brought to the Mobridge Hospital, where staff noticed she was not breathing and “cool” to the touch.  Resuscitative efforts were not successful.  St. Pierre’s girlfriend, Desarae Makes Him First, ultimately confessed to authorities that she and St. Pierre were responsible for the injuries that led to the death of her child.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs - Standing Rock Agency.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.

St. Pierre was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving his sentence.

Updated November 22, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime