United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a McLaughlin, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for First Degree Murder and Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence that Causes Death.
Casey Lynn Crow Ghost, age 42, was indicted on January 12, 2021. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William D. Gerdes on January 15, 2021, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is life in prison, a $250,000 fine, five years of supervised release, $200 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, and forfeiture of the firearm used in the offenses. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment alleges that on December 12, 2020, Crow Ghost willfully, deliberately, maliciously, and with premeditation and malice aforethought, did unlawfully murder a female victim by shooting her with a handgun in McLaughlin.
The charges are merely accusations and Crow Ghost 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 its 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 local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.
The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Standing Rock Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook is prosecuting the case.
Crow Ghost was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial. A trial date has not been set.