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Press Release

Pine Ridge Man Found Guilty in Death of Child

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that Zachariah Michael Poor Bear, 24, of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, was convicted of First Degree Murder and Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury following a four-day federal jury trial held in U.S. District Court in Rapid City.  The guilty verdict was returned on July 13, 2018.

The penalty is mandatory lifetime imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. 

The conviction stemmed from Poor Bear killing a 19 month-old baby by inflicting blunt force trauma to her head and abdomen, in May 2015 at Pine Ridge.   

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Collins and Eric Kelderman prosecuted the case.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date will be set.  The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated July 18, 2018

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime