Jail time ordered in gun caseRural Alexandria man had firearm with prior violent conviction.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
ALEXANDRIA — A rural Hanson County man has been sentenced to 90 days in jail and two years of probation for possessing a firearm with a prior violent crime conviction.
Wade Forrest Peterson, 36, was arrested Oct. 15 after law enforcement found four guns and a small amount of marijuana during a search of his residence, which is located at 41659 Highway 42, about 10 miles southwest of Alexandria.
Peterson pleaded guilty Dec. 21 to one count of firearm possession and one count of marijuana possession. He was sentenced Wednesday at the Hanson County Courthouse in Alexandria.
During the sentencing hearing, Peterson’s attorney, Doug Dailey, of Mitchell, described his client as “a nice guy” to Judge Tim Bjorkman.
“He’s a big guy,” Dailey said, “but he’s a big teddy bear, realistically, judge.”
Dailey recommended Peterson be put on probation instead of being put in prison.
In accordance with a plea agreement, Hanson County Deputy State’s Attorney Doug Papendick did not give a sentencing recommendation at the hearing.
In 1996, Peterson was convicted of aggravated assault in Aurora County. He received a suspended two-year prison sentence, was fined $1,000 and put on probation for five years. He was also ordered to pay $500 in restitution to the Plankinton Fire Department.
In South Dakota, anyone convicted of a violent offense, such as aggravated assault, is not allowed to possess a firearm for a 15-year period after they’re convicted.
The aggravated assault conviction is Peterson’s only prior felony, but he has a lengthy criminal record with 11 misdemeanors, including drunken driving, simple assault, disorderly conduct and petty theft.
“I consider this a speed bump in my life,” Peterson said, addressing Bjorkman during the sentencing hearing. “I haven’t been in trouble in well over a decade, and I don’t plan on being in trouble again.”
Bjorkman split up Peterson’s jail time, with 15 days starting next week, 15 days starting July 1, 30 days starting Jan. 1, 2014, and 30 days starting Jan. 1, 2015. Peterson was also fined $500 on the firearm charge.
One day will be subtracted from Peterson’s second 15-day jail term, starting July 1, for every 12 hours of community service he does before then.
For possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana, Peterson was sentenced to 10 days in jail and fined $400 plus court costs. The jail time will be suspended if Peterson pays the fine and costs by July 1.