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Press Release

Pine Ridge Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Second Degree Murder and Gun Crime

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Pine Ridge, South Dakota, man convicted of Second Degree Murder and Discharge of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime of Violence was sentenced by Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken, U.S. District Court.

James Robert Dowty, age 29, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison on December 17, 2018.  He was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund for the Second Degree Murder charge.  As to the Discharge of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime of Violence charge, Dowty was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison to be served consecutively to the murder charge, 5 years of supervised release to be served concurrently, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Dowty was found guilty of the charges following a federal jury trial in Rapid City on May 5, 2018.  The charges related to Dowty shooting a 13 year- old female on July 20, 2016, at Pine Ridge.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

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

Dowty was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated December 18, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime