Rapid City Man Sentenced for Involuntary Manslaughter

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a Rapid City, South Dakota, man convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter was sentenced on May 16, 2022, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Joshua Walking Eagle, age 32, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, $7,215.50 in restitution, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Walking Eagle was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 9, 2020.  He pled guilty on February 25, 2022.

The conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on May 29, 2020, in Rosebud, South Dakota.  On that date, a group of individuals that included Walking Eagle and the victim were consuming alcoholic beverages and socializing at a residence in Rosebud.  A man driving by in a vehicle stopped in front of the residence and brandished a firearm at Walking Eagle.  Walking Eagle and the victim approached the vehicle and confronted the driver.  According to Walking Eagle, Walking Eagle struggled with the driver for control of the firearm and it discharged, striking the victim in the head and killing him. 

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Albertson prosecuted the case.

 Walking Eagle was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.