Ten-year sentence for failing to register as sex offender

March 4, 2022 GMT

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A man accused in state court of killing an elderly Rapid City woman has been sentenced in federal court to 10 years in prison for failing to register as a sex offender.

Judge Jeffrey Viken gave James Jumping Eagle the maximum sentence for the felony in court Thursday. The 46-year-old Jumping Eagle will get 377 days credit for time served and will be on federal supervision for five years upon his release.

Jumping Eagle also faces state charges in the death of 82-year-old Reta McGovern. She was found dead in her home Feb. 10, 2021.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Sazama listed Jumping Eagle’s previous criminal history, including his first assault on a 15-year-old unconscious girl when he was 21.

Sazama said his criminal behavior toward women has escalated over the years, the Rapid City Journal reported.


“James Jumping Eagle is not a safe person to be out in the community,” she said. ”(He) has proven he won’t keep his hands off of vulnerable people.”

Sazama said he is a repeat sex offender and violated his terms of release three times. She said he knew how to register as a sex offender but didn’t and when police found him he was hiding underneath the floorboards in his family’s abandoned trailer.

“He is dangerous and he will not stop,” she said.