South Dakota Woman Sentenced to 22 Years for Murder
BILLINGS—The United States Attorney’s Office announced that today, in U.S. District Court in Billings, a Rapid City, South Dakota woman received 22 years in federal prison for her role in a 2013 murder on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Eugenia Ann Rowland, 42, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan Watters to 264 months in custody followed by five years of supervised release in connection with her October 2014 guilty plea to second degree murder. In addition, Rowland was ordered to pay $13,215 in restitution.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Suek told the court that Eugenia Rowland and her common-law husband were drinking with the victim in an abandoned trailer in Lame Deer on the Fourth of July, 2013. After not coming home, the victim was reported missing by family members. Initially treated as a missing person investigation, Rowland and her husband were interviewed several times by Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) law enforcement. The victim’s body was found on July 8, 2013 near the Lame Deer rodeo grounds.
Before the victim’s body was found, Rowland and her husband left the Northern Cheyenne reservation to stay with relatives near the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. Law enforcement officers learned that the couple had borrowed a car from a family member and had returned the car with a very strong odor emanating from the back seat. After a search of the car, the victim’s DNA was found on a rear seat cushion taken from the car.
U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter said that “Today’s sentence closes a sad and tragic chapter in the senseless death of a young woman. We hope the family finds some degree of solace in the fact that justice has come to one of the individuals responsible for their loss.”
The investigation was a collaborative effort between the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Flathead Tribal Police Department, Wind River Police Department, Rapid City Police Department, Pine Ridge Criminal Investigations, BIA Rapid City Drug Unit and Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.