Kyle man sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder

KYLE, S.D. — A Kyle, South Dakota man was convicted of first degree murder and discharge of a firearm, and was sentenced on June 2, 2020.

Clarence Yellow Hawk, age 30, was sentenced for the remainder of his life in federal prison, a $200 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, and ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at a later date based on evidence presented at Tuesday’s hearing.

The conviction stemmed from a homicide that occurred on May 27, 2017, on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Scott Benson, Jamie Shoulders, and Clarence Yellow Hawk traveled to a driveway approach off of the highway, just north of Sharps Corner where Benson was planning on meeting a man named Christopher Janis and another person.

While Benson was in Janis’ vehicle speaking with him, Shoulders approached the driver’s side door and fired several bullets at Christopher Janis. Yellow Hawk then took the same gun and fired additional shots at Janis, killing him, before fleeing the scene.

Scott Benson later pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact and was sentenced on May 24, 2018, to 10 years in federal prison.

Jamie Shoulders later pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.


Categories: Crime, South Dakota News