Seven Individuals from Pine Ridge Charged with Murder and False Statement
United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a federal grand jury has indicted six Pine Ridge, South Dakota, men (Steven Steele, Terry Goings III, Jerome Warrior, Calmer Cottier, Albert Cottier, and William Bluebird) for Second Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Commit an Assault; Calmer Cottier was also indicted for Solicitation to Commit a Crime of Violence; and a Pine Ridge, South Dakota woman (Josann Winters) was indicted for False Statement or Representation.
Steven Steele, age 23; Terry Goings III, age 22; Jerome Warrior, age 19; Calmer Cottier, age 24; Albert Cottier, age 23; William Bluebird, age 22; and Josann Winters, age 27, were indicted on January 26, 2016. All defendants have appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction for Steele, Goings, Warrior, C. Cottier, A. Cottier, and Bluebird is up to life in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, 5 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered. The maximum penalty upon conviction for Winters is up to up to 5 years in custody and/or a $250,000 fine, 1 year of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that on July 12, 2015, the defendants killed Ferris Brings Plenty with a machete, stick, bat, and cinder block.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services, and Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Poppen is prosecuting the case.
Winters was released on bond pending trial. Steele, Goings, Warrior, C. Cottier, A. Cottier, and Bluebird remain in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has not been set.