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Press Release

Pine Ridge Man Charged in Death of Child

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

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Pine Ridge, South Dakota, man was charged in federal district court with First Degree Murder – Felony Murder, Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury of a Minor, Felony Child Abuse-Aggravated Battery of an Infant, and Felony Child Abuse and Neglect.

Zachariah Michael Poor Bear, age 23, was charged on May 23, 2017. Poor Bear appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann on June 14, 2017, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. The maximum penalty upon conviction is life imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

The charges relate to Poor Bear abusing a young child, causing her death. The charges are merely an accusation and Poor Bear is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Collins is prosecuting the case.

Poor Bear was detained pending further hearing. A trial date has not been set.

Updated June 20, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime