Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that Samuel Francis White Horse, age 33, of Cherry Creek, South Dakota, was found guilty of Assault by Striking, Beating, or Wounding and Tampering with Evidence as a result of a three-day federal jury trial in Pierre, South Dakota. White Horse was acquitted of charges of aiding and abetting Second Degree Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, and Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury. The verdict was returned on June 24, 2021.
The conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
White Horse was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 9, 2020.
The jury found that on February 12, 2020, White Horse assaulted a man, who crashed his vehicle into White Horse’s yard while suffering from a medical emergency, by punching him in the head. Jerome White Horse, Jr., the defendant’s father, also used a garden hoe to strike the victim in the head multiple times. The victim died several days later after suffering from significant bleeding in his brain. Jerome White Horse, Jr., pled guilty to and was convicted of Voluntary Manslaughter. After witnessing his father beat the victim with the garden hoe, the defendant took control of the weapon and hid it under the front porch of his home to conceal it from law enforcement. The garden hoe was recovered during the execution of a search warrant a couple days later, and found by the South Dakota Forensic Laboratory to have the victim’s DNA on the blade and Jerome White Horse, Jr.’s DNA on the handle.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook prosecuted the case.
Sentencing was scheduled for September 20, 2021. White Horse was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service after the jury announced its verdict.
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