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Press Release

Mission Man Sentenced for Involuntary Manslaughter

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

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Mission, South Dakota, man convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter was sentenced on May 23, 2017, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Jacob McCloskey, age 19, was sentenced to 24 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100. As a condition of supervised release, McCloskey was also ordered to perform 80 hours of community service. Restitution may also be ordered.

McCloskey was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 16, 2016. He pled guilty on March 7, 2017.

The conviction stems from an incident that occurred on April 7, 2016, near Lakeview, in Todd County, South Dakota. McCloskey, then age 18, invited a group of friends, including the 17-year-old victim, to his home after school that day. At one point, the victim picked up a loaded .22 caliber long rifle that was sitting in the corner in a bedroom and asked if it was a BB gun. The victim was unfamiliar with firearms and loaded a round into the chamber. McCloskey then walked into the room, took the rifle from the victim, and removed the ammunition from the rifle. Believing the rifle was now unloaded, McCloskey pointed it at the victim and playfully asked if the victim wanted to be shot. The victim jokingly agreed. McCloskey then pointed the rifle at the victim’s forehead and pulled the trigger. The rifle discharged, fatally wounding the victim. McCloskey immediately called 911 and requested an ambulance. He told the other juveniles who were present to lie and say the rifle had discharged accidentally.

When law enforcement arrived, McCloskey falsely stated that the rifle had discharged accidentally after the victim had set it down. McCloskey subsequently admitted that he had pointed the rifle at the victim and pulled the trigger. He also admitted to telling the other juveniles who were present to lie about what happened.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Albertson prosecuted the case.

McCloskey was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated May 24, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice