ASHEVILLE – United States Attorney Andrew Murray announced on Thursday, Dec. 6 that a federal grand jury sitting in Asheville has charged Shane McKinley Swimmer, 18, of Cherokee, with first degree murder in Indian Country.
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Chief Doug Pheasant, of the Cherokee Indian Police Department, joined U.S. Attorney Murray in making Thursday’s announcement.
The charging document alleges that on Nov. 10, in Indian Country, Swimmer, who is an Indian, did unlawfully kill another human being, identified in the criminal indictment as “C.W.”
The indictment further alleges that Swimmer killed C.W. willfully, deliberately, maliciously and with premeditation.
Swimmer is currently in federal custody. If convicted of first-degree murder, Swimmer faces mandatory life in prison. An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.
In making Thursday’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Murray thanked the FBI and the Cherokee Indian Police Department for their investigation of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pritchard and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Eason
of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville are in charge of the prosecution.
– Department of Justice release