South Dakota woman sentenced to 21 years for role in 2020 murder

RAPID CITY , S.D. – A woman from Allen will spend over 20 years behind bars for her role in the 2020 murder of Thomas Sitting Bear.

20-year-old Jonnie Fineran pled guilty to second-degree murder in April 2022 for her involvement in the murder of Thomas Sitting Bear on July 24, 2020, in Manderson. According to court documents, Fineran helped a juvenile, identified only as T.S.B., in stabbing Sitting Bear over 60 times, which included “10 stab wounds that punctured his heart, causing his death.”

After the stabbing, “Fineran and T.S.B., beat Sitting Bear with a baseball bat, and then put Sitting Bear’s body in a plastic tote bin, folding his body in the bin.” Documents go on to say the two then attempted to clean the evidence from the scene.

An Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety officer arrived to Sitting Bear’s residence and noticed blood along the walls and the floor of the basement.

Fineran appeared in federal court in Rapid City Thursday and was sentenced to 21 years in federal prison.

Categories: Crime, Local News, South Dakota News