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Davison Co. prosecutor is victim of alleged crime

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news Mitchell, 57301
The Daily Republic
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Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

A local judge recused himself from two cases recently after it was revealed the deputy state’s attorney was an alleged victim of the suspect.

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As Danielle DeBuhr, 35, appeared in court on burglary, forgery and grand theft charges last week, Deputy State’s Attorney Bob O’Keefe left the courtroom. He is an alleged victim in a misdemeanor charge against DeBuhr and recused himself from prosecuting the felony cases against her.

“In regard to that, I work with Mr. O’Keefe in his role as prosecuting attorney,” said Judge Tim Bjorkman. “I’m questioning whether I should sit on this case.”

On Nov. 18, DeBuhr allegedly backed into O’Keefe’s pickup at 4:45 p.m. His pickup was unattended in the parking lot at 1015 S. Miller Ave., which is the address of the Davison County Public Safety Center. She did not stop to leave her name or call the police, according to court documents. She was arrested at 5 p.m. that same day for drunken driving at a different location.

Surveillance footage showed DeBuhr’s vehicle backing into O’Keefe’s. She caused $1,900 in damage to the pickup, according to court documents.

She is charged with hit and run with damage to another vehicle. The charge carries a maximum of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

The burglary, forgery and grand theft charges stem from two separate incidents.

In October, DeBuhr allegedly wrote checks totaling more than $1,000 from a male victim’s account and then admitted to throwing the checkbook away in an attempt to destroy evidence. She then allegedly broke into the man’s house to steal an affidavit of forgery paperwork the victim intended to give to law enforcement.

In January, she was charged with forgery for stealing her ex-boyfriend’s paycheck and cashing it at a local store, having allegedly written “pay to the order of Danielle DeBuhr” on it with her signature.

Bjorkman told DeBuhr’s attorney, Doug Papendick, and State’s Attorney Jim Miskimins they will be notified when a new judge is assigned to the case.

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