Man involved in Thirsty's Bar attack pleads guiltyVictim in reported unprovoked incident remains hospitalized 10 weeks later.
By: Anna Jauhola, The Daily Republic
The man accused of severely injuring a Mitchell man outside Thirsty’s Bar in September pleaded guilty to aggravated assault Tuesday.
William Watkins, 34, of Mitchell, allegedly attacked 36-year-old Clint Dreyer on Sept. 30. Dreyer was also allegedly assaulted by bar manager Thomas Somerville earlier the same night.
A presentence investigation was ordered. Sentencing is set for 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 21.
Watkins had been scheduled for a February jury trial.
Court documents state Dreyer apparently didn’t do anything to provoke the attacks. Watkins allegedly knocked Dreyer to the ground by hitting him in the head with his closed fist. Watkins proceeded to kick him in the head area, according to police reports.
The incident caused Dreyer serious injury, including severe head trauma. Dreyer was in critical condition when admitted to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls in September, his injuries described as life-threatening.
However, according to the CaringBridge website, Dreyer remains in Avera McKennan and participates in several therapies on his road to recovery.
Watkins arrived in court Tuesday wearing jail scrubs and usually kept his head down.
The only words he spoke included, “Yes, sir” or “No, sir.” He remains in Davison County Jail on a $30,000 bond.
Aggravated assault is a felony that carries a maximum 15-year prison term, a $30,000 fine, or both.
Watkins was escorted from jail by a single jailer after a morning court appearance but, after entering his plea in the afternoon he was taken back to jail by Davison County Sheriff Dave Miles and two jailers.
“In a case like that, you never know who’s going to be out there or what will be out there,” Miles said. “It’s just kind of the way I like to do things.”
Watkins has at least one previous assault charge against him. He was arrested for simple assault in September 2009. He was sentenced in October 2009 to 90 days in jail.