United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that Patrick Fire Thunder, age 46, of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, was found guilty of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon and Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury following a federal court trial in Rapid City, South Dakota. The verdict was returned on February 24, 2021.
Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, and restitution.
Evidence at trial established that on the evening of April 18, 2020, the victim and Fire Thunder were consuming alcohol at Fire Thunder’s residence. Fire Thunder claimed the victim punched him one time in the face and thereafter, Fire Thunder used a knife to stab the victim three times. The stab wounds were to the victim’s chest, neck, and face. The victim was air lifted to Rapid City for emergency surgery to repair his carotid artery that had been lacerated by the stab wound to his neck. As a result, the victim has suffered a permanent brain injury.
The investigation was conducted by the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety, the Oglala Sioux Tribe Criminal Investigations Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. U.S. Attorney Megan Poppen prosecuted and tried the case.
A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date was set for June 7, 2021. Fire Thunder was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.