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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

Monday, May 8, 2017

Pine Ridge Man Found Guilty of Second Degree Murder and Discharge of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime of Violence

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that James Robert Dowty, age 27, of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, was found guilty of Second Degree Murder and Discharge of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime of Violence at the conclusion of a federal trial in Rapid City, South Dakota. The verdict was returned on Friday, May 5, 2017.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of up to life imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, 5 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund for each count.

The conviction stems from Dowty shooting and killing a 13-year old juvenile victim in the early morning hours of July 20, 2016, on a street in Pine Ridge. The prosecutors’ credited the three teenage eyewitnesses who were with the victim that night for stepping forward to tell the jury what they witnessed.

Prosecutors were satisfied with the verdict. “We have confidence in the criminal justice system and trust the conclusion the jury reached,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Kelderman. “This was a tragic case and while obviously no verdict can bring her back, we are hopeful this outcome provides some consolation and healing to the victim’s family.”

This case was investigated 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 Eric Kelderman and Sarah B. Collins prosecuted the case.

A sentencing date will be set. Dowty was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Updated May 8, 2017