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State v. Eagle

Supreme Court of South Dakota

September 28, 2016

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
KEITH WAYNEMCLAIN HORNED EAGLE, Defendant and Appellant.

          CONSIDERED ON BRIEFS ON AUGUST 29, 2016

         APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA THE HONORABLE ROBIN J. HOUWMAN Judge

          MARTY J. JACKLEY Attorney General JOHN M. STROHMAN Assistant Attorney General Pierre, South Dakota Attorneys for plaintiff and appellee.

          BEAU J. BLOUIN Minnehaha County Public Defender Sioux Falls, South Dakota Attorneys for defendant and appellant.

          WILBUR, Justice

         [¶1.] During defendant's trial on an allegation of rape in the second degree, defendant moved the circuit court to order the prosecutor to produce any summaries written by the prosecutor or by others in the prosecutor's office documenting the victim witness's oral declarations about the alleged rape. The court denied defendant's motion after concluding that SDCL 23A-13-10(4) did not mandate production. The jury found defendant guilty. Defendant appeals. We reverse and remand.

         Background

         [¶2.] On September 28, 2014, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Cheryl Walking Crow called 911 to report that she had been raped earlier that morning. She explained that she had walked to a cement enclosure next to the Salvation Army building to sleep when a man approached her and raped her. Sioux Falls police officers Bridget O'Toole and Craig Boetel responded. Officer O'Toole noted that she did not observe any physical injuries on Walking Crow. Both officers took Walking Crow to the area near the Salvation Army building. There, the officers observed a man sleeping on the ground. The man, later identified as Keith Horned Eagle, appeared intoxicated. A preliminary breath test reported his blood alcohol content at 0.247 percent. According to Officer O'Toole, Horned Eagle claimed that he did not remember that he had been sleeping in the enclosure or whether a female was also sleeping there the night before. Horned Eagle agreed to speak with law enforcement at the Law Enforcement Center. Horned Eagle also consented to give buccal, finger, and penile swabs for DNA purposes and to give the officers his clothing and other items from the scene for testing.

         [¶3.] The officers took Walking Crow to Avera Hospital to complete a sexual assault examination. The vaginal, cervical, oral, and anal perineum swabs obtained from Walking Crow were tested for evidence of semen. They also tested Walking Crow's underwear. As part of Walking Crow's sexual assault examination, the nurse collected from Walking Crow various swabs, fingernail scrapings, and pubic hair samples. The nurse also examined Walking Crow's body for evidence of injuries, finding none.

         [¶4.] On December 31, 2014, a grand jury indicted Horned Eagle with one count of second-degree rape in violation of SDCL 22-22-1(2). Horned Eagle pleaded not guilty. A jury trial began on May 6, 2015. The emergency room nurse, Jennifer Canton, testified that she did not take any photographs of Walking Crow because she observed no sign of injuries. Canton also testified that Walking Crow reported that she knew her attacker as an acquaintance. Canton relayed that Walking Crow reported that she knew her assailant as "Keith."

         [¶5.] A forensic scientist with the State of South Dakota, Amber Bell, testified with regard to the DNA testing of the sexual assault kit obtained from Walking Crow and the swabs and items collected from Horned Eagle. Horned Eagle's penile swab contained a DNA profile matching Walking Crow. One of Horned Eagle's finger swabs contained the DNA profiles of Horned Eagle and Walking Crow. According to Bell, the DNA matching Walking Crow obtained from Horned Eagle's swab samples did not indicate from what part of Walking Crow's body the DNA originated. The sample could be from Walking Crow's skin cells, her hands, her mouth, her vagina, etc. Bell also testified that no swab from Walking Crow's person indicated the presence of semen and her underwear tested negative for the presence of semen. Because Bell detected no seminal fluid on the swabs from Walking Crow, Bell conducted no other tests to determine the presence of Horned Eagle's DNA on Walking Crow.

         [¶6.] Walking Crow testified about the events leading up to the rape. She said she went to her friend Doug's house to shower before leaving to eat at The Banquet. After her meal, she walked to a gas station to purchase beer. She said that she ran into Horned Eagle as she exited the gas station and said hello to him while walking by. Walking Crow relayed that after obtaining the beer she went to a park to meet a friend. Walking Crow claimed that at the park she again saw Horned Eagle.

         [¶7.] According to Walking Crow, later that night she went to a friend's house and continued drinking alcohol. She left her friend's house after midnight and went back to Doug's. Nobody was at Doug's house, and Walking Crow found her pillows and blankets laying outside the house. She took them and walked toward the Salvation Army to sleep. She reported that she believed someone was walking behind her. On redirect, Walking Crow testified that Horned Eagle was the person walking behind her.

         [¶8.] Once Walking Crow reached the cement enclosure by the Salvation Army building, she laid out her blankets on the ground and began drinking more alcohol. Walking Crow said that Horned Eagle sat down and had a couple drinks with her while the two of them talked. She said that at some point Horned Eagle stood up, took his pants off, and attempted to make Walking Crow give him oral sex. She claimed she pushed him away. She said Horned Eagle pushed her down and took her pants off. Walking Crow claimed she kicked and struck Horned Eagle but succumbed to his strength. She said Horned Eagle struck her in the chest with his knee, put his forearm against her throat, and pushed a pillow down on her face. Walking Crow explained that she was scared and stopped fighting. She said that, at that point, Horned Eagle vaginally penetrated her with his penis. She recalled that Horned ...


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