Unsealed affidavit shows Jumping Eagle attempted to turn himself in multiple times prior to McGovern’s murder

Jumping Eagle had violated the terms of his supervised release three times prior to January 29, 2020.
Jumping Eagle

RAPID CITY, S.D. — A previously-sealed federal affidavit has revealed more information on James Jumping Eagle, the 45-year-old suspect in the murder of a Rapid City woman earlier in February.

The affidavit, filed on February 20, 2021, says that Jumping Eagle was sought by law enforcement for Failure to Register as a Sex Offender. Jumping Eagle, who pleaded guilty to Sexual Abuse of a Minor in 1997 and Sexual Abuse in 2011, had violated the terms of his supervised release three times prior to January 29, 2020, when he was remanded for a 12-month sentence.

After being released in January 2021, he was picked up again on February 3 on an outstanding warrant for Possession of a Controlled Substance, and discharged the next day on a personal recognizance bond.

On February 8, Jumping Eagle attempted to turn himself in on additional warrants, but was not booked because no additional warrants were found in law enforcement’s records. That same day, he contacted a Rapid City Police Department Sex Offender Compliance Officer after working hours and left a voicemail stating he planned to turn himself in on his warrants the following day.

Jumping Eagle did not turn himself in as he had originally stated, and his whereabouts were unknown. He was not registered in any jurisdiction as required by SORNA, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

82-year-old Reta McGovern was found murdered on February 10 in her home on Flormann Street. Nine days later, forensic testing identified Jumping Eagle as the suspect.

On February 20, the U.S. Marshals Service and Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety received information indicating that the suspect had fled Rapid City and was staying in Manderson at the home of his grandmother. He was taken into custody that evening.

Categories: Crime, Local News, South Dakota News