Guilty Verdicts In Rapid City Rape/Murder Trial


      A Rapid City jury has convicted a man of the rape and murder of an elderly Rapid City-area woman over 3 years ago

        48-year old James Jumping Eagle will be sentenced June 6th on charges of 1st-degree murder and 2nd-degree rape in the February 2021 attack on 82-year-old Rita McGovern in her own home.

      Both sides presented their closing arguments Friday morning and the jury had returned its verdict by mid-afternoon.

       Jumping Eagle presented the defense’s opening statement himself, saying he was not guilty of murder or rape but only of destroying evidence, but his attorney presented the closing argument. 

      He told the jury the fact that Jumping Eagle admitted being at McGovern’s house and a dumpster where evidence was found before he knew there was video of him in both locations proves he was telling the truth and had nothing to hide.

       The prosecution, in its closing argument, said video showing Jumping Eagle at the dumpster disposing of McGovern’s blood-soaked clothes that had DNA from both of them did nothing to support his claim of not being the one who attacked the 82-year old.

      They also said video that showed Jumping Eagle at McGovern’s home also showed he was the only person other than McGovern who was there at the time of her rape and murder.