Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that Francisco Villanueva and Adan Corona of Denver, Colorado, were convicted of multiple crimes following a two-week federal jury trial held in Rapid City, South Dakota. The guilty verdicts were returned on September 29, 2021.
Villanueva, age 43, previously convicted of murder in Colorado in the mid-1990s, and Corona, age 35, were charged with First Degree Premeditated Murder, First Degree Felony Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Assault, Use of a Firearm During a Crime of Violence, and Possession of Ammunition by a Prohibited Person.
The conviction stems from the October 16, 2016, shooting death of Vincent Von Brewer III in front of the SuAnne Big Crow Center in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Villanueva and Corona shot Brewer 15 times with an assault rifle and a 9mm handgun, as Brewer attempted to flee from the defendants.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations, and the Denver and Aurora, Colorado, Police Departments. The investigation was also supported by numerous other state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarah Collins and Benjamin Patterson prosecuted the case. Both defendants face lifetime terms of imprisonment. A sentencing date has not been set.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
District of South Dakota