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Feds file charges in death of 17-year-old Redby girl

PONEMAH – A 46-year-old Ponemah man faces a federal charge of involuntary manslaughter for a death last summer on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, according to papers unsealed Thursday in federal court.

Gordon Dean Johnson faces the charge for the Aug. 19, 2012, death of 17-year-old Kaishauna Thunder of Redby. She was struck about 3 a.m. while walking alongside Minnesota Highway 1.

Federal prosecutors filed the charge Jan. 8 against Johnson. The indictment was unsealed following Johnson’s initial appearance in U.S. District Court Thursday in Minneapolis.

Court papers claim Johnson was driving recklessly while drunk. However, the indictment states Johnson killed Thunder without malice.

If convicted, Johnson faces up to eight years in prison.

The case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Red Lake Tribal Police Department.

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