Fed judge overturns South Dakota murder conviction
ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed the murder conviction of a South Dakota man in a case in which the victim died nearly two years after being beaten.
A death must happen within a year and a day in order to constitute a punishable homicide, Judge Charles Kornmann said in his ruling, the American News reported (http://bit.ly/1ttdFRB ).
“I felt strongly that higher courts should address this very important issue,” Kornmann wrote. “I determined specifically and advised counsel that I wanted the issues of fact to go to the jury, it being my intention to dismiss the murder charge if the defendant were to be found guilty by the jury. I predicted that this issue should ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court.”
Stoney End Of Horn, 36, of Wakpala, was convicted in September in federal court in Pierre of second-degree murder for the fatal beating of Pauline Brave Crow. Prosecutors said Brave Crow suffered injuries to her face and brain in September 2008, and died in June 2010 after spending four months in a Mandan, North Dakota, hospital due to complications caused by the beating.
End of Horn also was convicted on unrelated counts of sexually abusing a minor. He is to be sentenced in December.
Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com