Federal court papers highlight murder suspects activity before crime

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — A Rapid City murder suspect tried to turn himself in just two days before the crime, but he wasn’t booked into jail. That’s according to new federal court papers.

In addition to first-degree murder charges in Pennington County, James Jumping Eagle faces a federal charge of failing to register as a sex offender.

James Jumping Eagle has been in and out of federal prison since 1997 for sex crimes and failing to register as a sex offender.

Court papers say he was most recently released on January 27th. He was placed on a shuttle and transported to the Pennington County Jail to face drug charges.

Jumping Eagle remained in jail until February 4th. He returned four days later and attempted to turn himself in on additional warrants.

Court papers say there were no warrants active in the records system and Jumping Eagle was not booked into jail. That was on February 8th.

That same day, Jumping Eagle left a message with the Police Department’s Compliance Officer saying he was staying at the Mission and would turn himself in on warrants the following day.

On February 9th, he did not turn himself in.

Early on February 10th, investigators believe Jumping Eagle killed Reta McGovern. He’s charged with first degree murder in the case.

KELOLAND News reached out to the Pennington County Sheriff’s office to see if there was a glitch in the system or a reason that no warrants showed up when Jumping Eagle tried to turn himself in. They said their computers were working fine. There was no warrant for his arrest, so they let him go.

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