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Press Release

Two From Pine Ridge Plead Guilty To Involuntary Manslaughter

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

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Whitnee Eagle, 24, and Abraham Red Cloud, 31, both of Pine Ridge, South Dakota appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on March 12 (Eagle), and March 13 (Red Cloud), 2013 and pled guilty to a charge of Involuntary Manslaughter. The Magistrate Judge is expected to recommend their pleas be accepted by the District Court. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 8 years’ imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.

On June 26, 2012 at Pine Ridge, Eagle and Red Cloud, after drinking large quantities of alcohol, rolled over on their five-month-old son who was sleeping in the same bed, suffocating him. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Kelderman.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date will be scheduled. Eagle and Red Cloud were remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending acceptance of their pleas and sentencing.

Updated June 22, 2015