YEAR IN REVIEW: March: Mitchell woman found slain in rural Chamberlain
A missing Mitchell woman’s body was found March 14 in a shed in rural Chamberlain.
Later, the woman’s fiancé was arrested for questioning with regard to her death following a standoff in Sioux Falls.
The woman, 26-year-old Crystal Schulz, was killed and her body hidden in a shed on her mother’s property located about 10 miles south of Chamberlain.
Schulz’s fiancé, 37-year-old Kent Davidson, was arrested following an armed standoff in Sioux Falls, which took place not long after Schulz’s body was found. Davidson had been wanted for the five months prior because he walked away from a South Dakota Department of Corrections transitional facility in October in Rapid City.
About three weeks after Schulz’s body was found, Davidson was indicted on multiple charges in connection with her death, including first-degree murder, which is punishable upon conviction by death or life in prison. Prosecutors have said they do not plan to seek the death penalty for Davidson.
Davidson allegedly lured Schulz to the shed where her body was found, and shot her twice in the head with a shotgun, according to court documents.
Davidson is yet to stand trial.
Following are summaries of other local and area news from March editions of The Daily Republic.
March 2: The Mitchell Kernels boys’ basketball team finished its season with a loss to the Aberdeen Golden Eagles and a 5-17 record. The Kernels’ losing season snapped a 10-year streak of Class AA state high school boys’ basketball tournament appearances.
March 4: Authorities identified the man arrested after an armed standoff in Parkston as 18-year-old Parkston resident Nicholas Heisinger. The standoff began when a Parkston police officer responded to reports of a disorderly person around 4:30 a.m. March 2 and saw a naked man standing outside. The man, later identified as Heisinger, fled to the second floor of a nearby house, where he picked up a rifle and a scope. He peacefully surrendered to authorities about two hours later.
The Mitchell Marlins girls’ hockey team finished second at the girls’ varsity state hockey tournament for the third consecutive year. The sixth-seeded Marlins upset third-seeded Oahe, a team from Pierre, and second-seeded Huron on the way to finals, where the Marlins were defeated 4-1 by Sioux Falls.
March 6: Donika Gonzales, a 23-year-old Gann Valley woman, was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly beating a 4-year-old child to death because he wet his pants.
March 9: Kerri Young, a senior on the Mitchell Kernels girls’ basketball team, became Mitchell’s all-time scoring leader during a game against Sioux Falls Washington. Young surpassed Mike Miller, who, when Young broke Mitchell’s all-time scoring record, played for the Miami Heat.
March 12: The Mitchell Board of Education confirmed Joe Childs as principal of Mitchell High School. Childs, who was principal at Longfellow Elementary before he took the position at Mitchell High School, replaced Yvonne Palli, who retired.
March 15: Laurie Cournoyer was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Cournoyer and her husband, Taylor Cournoyer, were arrested July 4 after 2-year-old Rielee Lovell was found dead in a closet in their home at a Yankton Sioux tribal housing project near Wagner. Both admitted to using methamphetamine, sleeping pills and marijuana in the days leading up to the child’s death.
March 20: The Mitchell Fire Division received its new ladder truck, a 2010 model that cost the city $749,000. It replaced the city’s 1982 model that Public Safety Department officials and Mayor Ken Tracy said was on its last legs.
March 22: NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed against him by Klock Werks Kustom Cycles, a Mitchell-based custom motorcycle builder. Klock Werks claimed Bowyer failed to pay nearly $31,000 for a motorcycle customized by the company in late 2008 and early 2009. Bowyer claimed to have provided Klock Werks with numerous promotional services in exchange for the motorcycle.
March 26: Avera signed a five-year lease to operate a satellite clinic in Kennebec, months after Sanford, citing a lack of medical providers, closed the town’s only clinic. A local committee raised $107,000 to pay for the new clinic building.
March 27: South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson, 67, announced he would retire at the end of his current term in January 2015, and acknowledged he remains limited by a 2006 health crisis that nearly cost him his life.
March 30: The South Dakota Office of Hearing Examiners ruled a secretive agreement that directed nearly $175,000 to an ex-superintendent of the Huron School District, Ross Opsal, should be open to the public. The opening of the agreement was forced by a lawsuit filed by The Daily Republic.