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Press Release

Watauga Man Convicted by Federal Jury of Assault by Striking, Beating or Wounding

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

ABERDEEN - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that Justin James Schneider, age 38, of Watauga, South Dakota, was found guilty of Assault by Striking, Beating or Wounding as a result of a two-day federal jury trial in Aberdeen, South Dakota. 

The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in federal prison and/or a $100,000 fine, one year of supervised release, and a $25 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.  

Schneider was indicted by a federal grand jury in January of 2023. 

On October 26, 2022, in McIntosh, South Dakota, within the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, Schneider, a non-Indian man, was taking out the trash when he saw another man. Schneider believed the other man, a tribal member, had wronged him several months earlier. Schneider gestured for the man to join him in a neighbor’s yard. When they met, Schneider accused the man of misconduct, then punched him several times in the face. Schneider walked the man to his wife’s workplace, forced him to apologize for the alleged misdeed, and then punched him once more on the nose, breaking it.

This case was investigated by the Corson County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl Thunem prosecuted the case.

A presentence investigation report was ordered and a sentencing date of August 1, 2024, was set.  Schneider remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.

Updated May 17, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime