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Press Release

Standing Rock Woman Sentenced for Murder

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

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Standing Rock, South Dakota, woman convicted of Second Degree Murder was sentenced on November 20, 2017, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.

Desarae Makes Him First, age 26, was sentenced to 365 months of custody, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Makes Him First was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 18, 2016.  She pled guilty on July 20, 2017.

The conviction stems from a series of events that occurred between October 11 and October 12, 2016, when Makes Him First participated in, and failed to protect her five-year-old daughter from, severe repeated physical abuse.  Though slight bruising was initially detected by staff at the Wakpala, South Dakota, school and South Dakota Department of Social Services, the majority of the injuries were caused over an extended weekend.

Over the next several days, the young child was hit about the head, neck, chest, abdomen, legs, and arms.  As a result of the beatings, the young child suffered severe abdominal injuries, which led to internal bleeding and ultimately death.  Makes Him First brought her child to the Mobridge Hospital where staff noticed she was not breathing and “cool” to the touch.  Resuscitative efforts were not successful.  Makes Him First ultimately confessed to authorities that she and her live-in boyfriend were responsible for the injuries that led to the death of her child.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs - Standing Rock Agency.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.

Makes Him First was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving her sentence.

Updated November 22, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime