Jury clears detention officers in Indian athlete's death
A coroner's jury cleared detention officers in Hill County, Montana, of the death of A.J. LongSoldier.

LongSoldier, 18, died last November after complaining of feeling sick. According to a coroner who testified, the star athlete was suffering from severe effects of alcohol withdrawal -- no drugs and no existing illness were at issue.

"Many people can survive this, but on occasion you find people like this young man who can undergo medical care and will die," said Fergus County Coroner Dick Brown, The Great Falls Tribune reported. "Reviewing the medical records, I don't think there was much more they could have done."

The Tribune said the seven-person jury deliberated for 30 minutes before returning a unanimous verdict that cleared the officers. The paper said inquests rarely find fault against officers in similar cases.

LongSoldier was a standout basketball player who led his team on the Fort Belknap Reservation to a state championship. He had enrolled at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas last fall.

LongSoldier's mother, Dayna Bear, is a community health representative for the Fort Belknap Tribe. His father, Allen LongSoldier Sr., is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota.

Get the Story:
Jury clears officers in athlete's death (The Great Falls Tribune 3/17)

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