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Presho man pleads guilty to assault in incident with daughter

KENNEBEC — A man who fired a gun near his 10-year-old daughter’s head last year changed his plea Wednesday morning in Lyman County court.

 Clinton James Brown, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault-domestic abuse and admitted to habitual offender allegations, according to Sara Rabern, of the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office.

 Brown was arrested in August 2012 in Lyman County and accused of kidnapping his daughter, firing a gun near her head, striking her with the butt of a gun and shooting her dog. He was indicted a month later on 14 felony and three misdemeanor charges, including attempted murder, aggravated kidnapping, commission of a felony while armed with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a controlled substance. 


Wednesday’s hearing was originally scheduled as a motions hearing, but Brown and his attorney decided at the last minute to take a plea agreement, Rabern said. All charges except aggravated assault were dropped.

 The count to which Brown pleaded guilty was one in which he was accused of repeatedly shooting a gun near and around his daughter.

 Aggravated assault carries a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison, a $30,000 fine or both. The habitual offender conviction could stiffen the penalty — it carries a maximum penalty of 50 years in prison, a $50,000 fine or both, Rabern said.

 The state recommended 50 years in prison, with 25 years suspended, and also recommended this sentence run consecutively — or one after the other — to the 51-month sentence Brown recently received for a federal court conviction. He was sentenced in June in federal court for being a felon and drug user in possession of a firearm.

 Judge Patricia DeVaney ordered a presentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for October.