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Stabbing, escape attempt, alcohol use add up to prison for Mitchell man

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news Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

A Mitchell man convicted of aggravated assault for stabbing another man in the arm has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for violating his probation.

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Jacob Stulken, 23, has been involved in multiple incidents with law enforcement, both in and out of jail, since he was arrested in June 2012 for stabbing another man during an altercation in Mitchell.

In August 2012, jailers at the Davison County Jail subdued Stulken with a stun gun during an escape attempt. Prosecutors dropped charges related to that incident after Stulken pleaded guilty in February to the aggravated assault charge. He was sentenced in March to 180 days in jail and three years on probation, but admitted to consuming alcohol and walking away from a treatment program — both violations of his probation — about three months later.

As a result of those violations, Judge Tim Bjorkman reimposed two-and-a-half years of the suspended three-year prison term on Tuesday during court at the Davison County Public Safety Center in Mitchell. Bjorkman admitted Stulken has made progress in dealing with his drug addictions and mental health issues while on probation, but said Stulken’s conduct warranted time in prison.

“If you take what you’ve learned and don’t consider this a setback, you can find a way in life to live productively and in a law abiding way,” Bjorkman said.

Prior to being sentenced, Stulken addressed the court and apologized for his mistakes.

“Things are just starting to come together for me and I don’t want to lose it all,” he said, holding back tears. “I don’t want to mess it all up.”

In late September, Stulken was arrested for making a false report to law enforcement because he allegedly called 911 and said a man had “pulled a gun” on a woman. The investigation determined Stulken placed the call and the information he provided was false.

That charge will be dropped as a result of Tuesday’s hearing, according to Davison County Deputy State’s Attorney Bob O’Keefe.

Stulken was given credit for the 305 days he has already served in jail. That means he will first be eligible for parole in March, according to Bjorkman.

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