United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Pine Ridge, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Second Degree Murder and Discharge of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime of Violence.
Thomas Joseph Brewer, 26, was indicted on December 20, 2016, and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann on December 28, 2016. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is life imprisonment, and/or a $250,000 fine, five years of supervised release, and a $100 assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The charges relate to Brewer shooting a man in the stomach after an argument, killing him. The charges are merely an accusation and Brewer is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Patterson is prosecuting the case.
Brewer was detained pending trial. A trial date has not been set.