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Woman agrees to commitment after pulling gun during questioning in S.D. homicide

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MONTEVIDEO, Minn. -- A Clarkfield woman voluntarily agreed to a civil commitment for mental illness during a closed hearing Friday in District Court in Montevideo, her attorney said after the hearing.

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Kelly Jean Anderson-Person, 34, could be held for up to six months, according to Willmar attorney Theresa Patock, who represents her. The order issued by District Judge Thomas Van Hon also leaves open the possibility of an additional six months of commitment, according to Patock and assistant Yellow Medicine County attorneys Amanda Sieling and Stacy Vinberg.

Anderson-Person was transported to a facility in Annandale following the hearing. The hearing was closed to the public, and the judge's order won't be available until Tuesday because court administration offices are closed. A report to be filed from the hearing will not be released to the public by order of the judge, according to court personnel.

Anderson-Person had been held at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar after she allegedly attempted to commit suicide in her Clarkfield home on Aug. 13. She had pulled a handgun from under a couch cushion and pointed it at her head while holding her 9-month-old child as South Dakota investigators questioned her about the remains of two newborns found in November in Deuel County in South Dakota. The investigators wrestled the gun from her and it discharged into the ceiling.

Anderson-Person has told authorities she gave birth to the infants whose remains had been recovered, and she acknowledged being pregnant in 2009 and 2011, court documents say.

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation has been leading the homicide investigation since the discovery of the remains. They were found on land near Astoria, S.D., that is owned by a family member of Anderson-Person. She previously lived in Hendricks, Minn.

The closing proceedings on Friday also included a hearing on custody of the 9-month-child she was holding at the time of the gun incident. The court placed the child in the father's custody, according to Patock.

The hearings dealt only with the civil commitment and child custody issues, and no further information was provided on the investigation into the cause of the deaths of the two children. No criminal charges have been filed.

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Forum News Service
The Forum Communications News Service is the premier news wire service covering the Upper Midwest, stretching from the oilfields of western North Dakota to the plains of South Dakota and to the shores of eastern Minnesota. For more information about the services we offer or to discuss content subscriptions, please contact us.
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