A South Dakota man was found guilty last week of second-degree murder and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
The Justice Department announced the verdict was returned on Friday at the conclusion of a federal trial and that 27-year-old James Robert Dowty could face up to life imprisonment.
In the early morning hours of July 20, Dowty shot and killed a 13-year-old girl on a street in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Three teenage witnesses testified during the trial.
Prosecutors hoped the verdict would provide some closure to the victim’s family.
“We have confidence in the criminal justice system and trust the conclusion the jury reached,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Kelderman. “This was a tragic case and while obviously no verdict can bring her back, we are hopeful this outcome provides some consolation and healing to the victim’s family.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety investigated the case.
A sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.