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Press Release

Wounded Knee Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison

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

RAPID CITY - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier has sentenced a Wounded Knee, South Dakota, man convicted of Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Murder. The sentencing took place on December 1, 2023.

Spencer High Hawk, 27, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

He was found guilty of Aiding and Abetting Second Degree Murder on September 8, 2023, following a four-day federal jury trial in Rapid City, South Dakota.  

The conviction stems from High Hawk beating another man to death near Wounded Knee in June of 2022.

This matter was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office because the Major Crimes Act, a federal statute, mandates that certain violent crimes alleged to have occurred in Indian Country be prosecuted in Federal court as opposed to State court.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Anna Lindrooth prosecuted the case.

The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated December 7, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime