U.S. Attorney's Office
District of South Dakota
(605) 330-4400
October 9, 2014

Jury Finds McLaughlin Man Guilty of Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Brett Roach, age 27, of McLaughlin, South Dakota, was convicted of Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, following a two-day jury trial in Pierre. The guilty verdict was returned on October 8, 2014.

The charge carries a 10 year mandatory minimum, up to life, in custody, and/or a $250,000 fine, as well as five years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Roach was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 12, 2013.

The conviction stems from an assault which occurred on May 22, 2013, when Roach’s 11-month old stepdaughter was brought to the Mobridge Regional Hospital. A CT scan revealed that the child was bleeding inside her skull and had sustained 3 skull fractures. The 11-month old victim was flown to Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, where she underwent emergency treatment for her head injuries.

During the investigation, Roach admitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation that because the child’s crying had woken him up, he threw the child from a bed onto the hard floor. At trial, Roach claimed he had made this story up and the child had been injured in a simple fall. Medical experts at trial told the jury that a simple fall would not explain the victim’s life threatening serious head injuries.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Standing Rock Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.

A sentencing date has not been set. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing.

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