The director of the Tribal Department of Social Services has been indicted by a federal grand jury for embezzlement of almost $7,000. The grand jury’s indictment announced July 18 alleges 45-year-old Rhonda Harlan of Walthill issued checks in the names of enrolled members of the Omaha Tribe’s general assistance program. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Omaha alleges the checks were cashed without any of the proceeds going to the named applicants. The government alleges Harlan embezzled the money between November 1997 and May 2000.
A federal grand jury has indicted 20-year-old Angel Merrick and 18-year-old Kareem Lakota Robinson in the June beating death of Brandon Louis Horn, a tribal member who lived on a rural part of the reservation near Macy. In earlier testimony witnesses said Merrick, Robinson and three juveniles beat Horn at a tribal housing complex in Macy and then dumped his body in a nearby field. An autopsy showed Horn died from blunt force trauma to the head. The coroner had indicated Horn could have survived his injuries had he received medical attention but his body wasn’t found until 12 hours after the alleged beating. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Wellman said July 18 that Merrick and Robinson will be arraigned later. Prosecutors said the cases against the juveniles will proceed separately.