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CHAMBERLAIN -- A forensic pathologist testified Thursday that she could not determine a specific injury that caused the death of 4-year-old Mason Naser. Dr. Janice Ophoven, who has a private...
CHAMBERLAIN — A pediatrician testified Wednesday that the pattern and number of bruises on Mason Naser were "very concerning" and not those suffered in normal child activities. "He was a battered child," said Dr. Nancy Free, a board certified pediatrician and medical director at Child's Voice, a child advocacy center in Sioux Falls.
CHAMBERLAIN -- Four-year-old Mason Naser's liver and pancreas were severely injured due to blunt force trauma, which caused him to bleed internally, according to expert testimony Tuesday. The trial of Donika Gonzales continued Tuesday at the Brule County Courthouse. She is accused of beating Naser to death for wetting his pants in February 2013. Dr.
CHAMBERLAIN -- Donika Gonzales admitted to law enforcement in February 2013 that she abused 4-year-old Mason Naser for wetting his pants, a recording showed Monday during a trial in Brule County. The recording was from an interview conducted by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation immediately following the death of the Mason Naser. The jury listened to a two-hour tape interview between Gonzales and Guy DiBenedetto, an agent with DCI. "I wasn't trying to hurt him, or be mean," she told DiBenedetto in the February 2013 interview. "He wouldn't use the potty.
Four-year-old boy had needle marks in the crooks of both arms.
A text message with a picture of a house on fire was used as evidence to charge two men with arson. In the early morning hours of Jan. 16, fire destroyed an unoccupied home owned by Ronnie and Deanna Wieczorek, four miles west of Mount Vernon.
GREGORY -- A Gregory man accused of shaking his infant son to death has pleaded not guilty to several charges, including murder. Adam Bruns, 20, appeared in court Friday in Winner and pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and alternate counts of first-degree manslaughter, aggravated assault, and abuse or cruelty to a minor less than 7 years old. Bruns had been taking care of his 3-month-old son Levi in February and the child had been vomiting periodically for several days. This frustrated Bruns, he told investigators. On Feb.
SALEM -- A man involved in a chase and crash Tuesday in McCook County has an extensive criminal record, including three drunken driving convictions and 17 overall misdemeanors. Michael Popkes, 32, of Canistota, was arrested for eluding Tuesday afternoon after he fled law enforcement and crashed his vehicle into a tree in McCook County. The Daily Republic misspelled Popkes' last name in an article that started on Page A1 of Wednesday's edition. Popkes was also convicted of eluding law enforcement two years ago in McCook County. Typically, a third DUI within 10 years is a felony.
FORT THOMPSON -- A Fort Thompson woman died in a two-vehicle crash Wednesday two miles east of Marion Road on Interstate 90 near Sioux Falls. Nicole Estella Metcalf, 21, was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Malibu eastbound on Interstate 90 when she stopped the vehicle in the right driving lane of traffic and exited her vehicle. Brittany Mary Ann May, 19, of Oacoma, was driving a 1998 Pontiac Bonneville and also traveling eastbound in the driving lane. May saw the stopped Malibu in the lane ahead of her and swerved in an attempt to miss the Malibu, but collided with the back end of it.
Investigators are still trying to find the cause of a Mitchell house fire that started late Tuesday night. They are also looking for the residents, who were not at the home during the time of the fire. Mitchell Assistant Fire Chief Paul Morris said Wednesday firefighters were dispatched at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to a home at 912 E. Fifth Ave. where a fire had started in the basement. "A neighbor called in the fire," Morris said.