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Press Release

Two Men from Wounded Knee Charged with First Degree Murder

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

United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that two Wounded Knee, South Dakota, men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for First Degree Murder, Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, and Assault with a Dangerous Weapon.

Eugene Acorn High Hawk, age 59, and Spencer High Hawk, age 25, were indicted on July 6, 2022.  Both men have pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.

The penalty upon conviction is mandatory life in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund for each count.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The charges relate to Eugene Acorn High Hawk and Spencer High Hawk beating a male to death near Wounded Knee in June 2022.  Eugene Acorn High Hawk is also accused of beating a juvenile male with a baseball bat during the same incident.  The charges are merely an accusation, and both men are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

The investigation is being conducted by Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division.   Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelsey Blair is prosecuting the case.   

Eugene Acorn High Hawk and Spencer High Hawk were detained pending trial.  A trial date has been set for September 20, 2022.

Updated July 19, 2022

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice