United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Parmelee, South Dakota, couple has been sentenced by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court, based on their convictions in an Involuntary Manslaughter and Child Abuse case.
Dakota Horned Eagle, age 29, pled guilty on November 4, 2019, to Involuntary Manslaughter and Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol Causing Serious Bodily Injury to a Minor. On January 27, 2020, he was sentenced to 52 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $200.
Ashley Stoneman, age 25, pled guilty on November 18, 2019, to Child Abuse. On February 10, 2020, she was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.
The couple was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 23, 2019.
The convictions stemmed from an incident that occurred on July 12, 2019, in Todd County, South Dakota. On that date, Horned Eagle and Stoneman were consuming alcoholic beverages and socializing at a residence in the He Dog Community. At approximately 1:00 p.m., they decided to drive back to their residence in nearby Parmelee. They loaded six children into their vehicle and departed the residence, with Horned Eagle driving and Stoneman riding in the front passenger seat. None of the children, who ranged in age from two months old to twelve years old, were secured with car seats or seat belts. Horned Eagle was intoxicated. A short time later, they were traveling on a gravel road between He Dog and Parmelee, when their vehicle left the roadway and wrecked. At the time of the wreck, Horned Eagle was driving at least 50 miles per hour (mph) in an area where the posted speed limit is 35 mph.
Two of the children in the vehicle suffered fatal injuries as a result of the wreck. The other four children in the vehicle sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
This case was investigated by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Albertson prosecuted the case.
Horned Eagle and Stoneman were immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.