United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that an Eagle Butte, South Dakota, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Second Degree Burglary, Larceny, Assaulting Resisting, and Impeding a Federal Officer, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, and Discharging a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence.
Justin Twite, age 22, was indicted on April 9, 2019. She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on December 30, 2019, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to life in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 5 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that on December 21, 2018, Twite entered a residence in Eagle Butte where she stole a safe. She also stole a pickup parked at the residence. The Indictment further alleges that, on the same date, Twite did forcibly assault, resist, oppose, impede, intimidate, and interfere with multiple Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Police Officers, and did assault one of the police officers with a firearm, with intent to do bodily harm to the officer.
The charges are merely accusations and Twite is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The investigation is being conducted by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Miller is prosecuting the case.
Twite was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has not been set.
Indictment: An indictment is a formal accusation against an individual suspected of committing a crime.
Arraignment: An arraignment is a formal reading of a criminal charging document in the presence of the defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against him or her. In response to arraignment, the accused is expected to enter a plea.
Sentencing: After a defendant is convicted or pleads guilty, a judge will decide on the appropriate punishment (or sentence) during the sentencing phase of a criminal case.