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(SD)-Guilty Verdict In Pine Ridge Drug Murder

By: John Axtell Posted at: 05/07/2019 08:20 AM
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A federal jury has convicted a man accused in a fatal shooting near Sharp's Corner on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 2017.
 
     Clarence Yellow Hawk was found guilty of 1st-degree murder and a weapons offense in the slaying of 42-year-old Chris Janis during a drug deal, and faces either life in prison or the death penalty, but no sentencing date was set.
 
     Yellow Hawk was one of three men charged in the slaying. Jamie Shoulders pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in March, and Scott Benson pleaded guilty a year ago to being an accessory. Shoulders is awaiting sentencing in July; Benson is serving 10 years in prison.
  
     Yellow Hawk's attorney argued for self-defense, but prosecutors compared it to an execution.

      Investigators say while Benson was arranging a purchase of prescription pills with Janis through the window of Janis' car, Yellow Hawk appeared at the window as well and shot Janis with Benson's gun. Shoulders then took the gun and shot Janis several more times.


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