Thom explains booking issues in Jumping Eagle arrest

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 5:34 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The man accused of killing an 82-year-old Rapid City woman was arrested over the weekend and is also facing charges for failing to register as a sex offender.

A now unsealed federal court document lays out a timeline after 45-year-old James Jumping Eagle was released from federal prison last month, including a time he tried to turn himself in to jail.

Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom explained why Jumping Eagle was not booked back into the jail at that point.

“He was brought to the jail on the third, and he was bonded out on the fourth,” said Thom. “And on the fourth, before we release people, we run any warrants at that time, so we won’t release somebody with an active warrant. So, that was done on the fourth. And then, on the eighth, he came to the Public Safety Building and said he wanted to turn himself in on a warrant. And there wasn’t a warrant active at that time. Now, why he thought there was a warrant, you’d have to ask him that question.”

Thom said Jumping Eagle is a registered sex offender and he is currently in federal custody, charged with failing to register.

Thom said a warrant for that was not issued until after the date of the murder.

”They notified our office that he was going to be staying at the Mission,” said Thom. “And he stayed at the Mission on the eighth, and then, his three days starts over in terms of when he has to notify us again of an address change. That’s per law, that’s not our policy, so on the twelfth of February, he would have been non-compliant as a sex offender as well.”

The Pennington County State’s Attorneys Office said they cannot prosecute Jumping Eagle for murder until after the federal case is completed.

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