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PARKER -- Four-month-old Jacob Miller died an "untimely death at the hands of his father," a prosecutor said Tuesday during opening statements in the trial of a Scotland, S.D., man accused of killing his infant son. The defense claims the infant boy was inadvertently suffocated by his mother. Chris Miller, 39, is charged with killing his son Jacob by shaking and beating him in March 2011. Miller faces charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and aggravated assault, and could be sentenced to life in prison if he is found guilty.
FORT THOMPSON -- If former Crow Creek Sioux tribal chairman Duane Big Eagle appeals his bribery conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court, it will be without his attorney. Dana Hanna, of Rapid City, filed a motion Jan. 11 to withdraw as attorney for Big Eagle, the day after the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal and affirmed Big Eagle's conviction. An order granting the motion was filed Thursday.
PLANKINTON -- The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled against a Plankinton woman who sued a Mitchell doctor for malpractice. The opinion was filed Thursday. Following a three-day trial last January in Mitchell, a jury rejected Bette Thompson's malpractice claim against orthopedic surgeon Chris Krouse and Avera Queen of Peace Hospital. Thompson appealed the jury's decision, and oral arguments were given to the Supreme Court on Nov. 7 in Pierre. Krouse performed surgery on Thompson's left wrist after she broke it in a fall while pruning a tree in September 2007.
A Mitchell woman is suing a chiropractor for allegedly causing her to have a stroke. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday at the Davison County Clerk of Court's Office by plaintiff Christie Gunkel, who recently became treasurer of Davison County. Gunkel claims an Aug. 8 neck adjustment she received from Gary Hendrix, a chiropractor with an office located at 310 N. Lawler St. in Mitchell, caused a "dissection," or tear, in an artery in her neck, resulting in a stroke.
PARKER -- Jury selection is set to begin this morning for the trial of Chris Miller, a Scotland man accused of killing his infant son. Miller, 39, has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including second-degree murder, in the March 2011 death of his four-month-old son Jacob. The trial will take place at the Turner County Courthouse in Parker, since it was moved out of Bon Homme County by a judge last October at the request of Miller's attorneys, Tim Whalen, of Lake Andes, and Ken Cotton, of Wagner.
A 22-year-old Mitchell man was sentenced Tuesday to 180 days in jail and ordered to pay nearly $22,000 in restitution for a string of vehicle thefts and acts of vandalism last summer. Daniel Tingle received a suspended five-year prison sentence, was put on probation for three years and fined $250 in addition to the jail time and restitution. Tingle pleaded guilty Dec. 4 to one count of intentional property damage valued at more than $1,000 but less than $100,000, a felony. Prosecutors dismissed a grand theft charge in exchange for Tingle's guilty plea.
A local woman has accepted a $10,000 offer from a Hot Springs-based cellular tower company and one of its former employees, ending a lawsuit that arose after a 2010 traffic crash in Mitchell. Diane Reed and her attorney Timothy James, of Yankton, filed a lawsuit last summer claiming John Adam Hamilton, a former employee of Black Hills Towers LLC, acted negligently on Sept. 15, 2010, when he allegedly backed a truck owned by Black Hills Towers into Reed's vehicle while the two were waiting at a traffic signal in the 500 block of East First Avenue.
A proposed tax increment financing district for a 31-unit housing project south of the Mitchell Middle School received approval Monday from the city's TIF Review Committee. The proposal will now go to the Mitchell Planning and Zoning Commission for further consideration, with a public hearing scheduled for Jan. 28, according to City Planner Neil Putnam. The proposed TIF district would coincide with the development of a 31-unit housing complex on a section of land south of West Eighth Avenue, north of West Seventh Avenue, east of North Iowa Street and west of North Montana Street.
The number of flu cases is on the rise in South Dakota, and the Mitchell area isn't immune. "In the last two weeks, we saw a peak in the number of positive tests in our area," said Avera Queen of Peace Hospital Director of Infection Control and Employee Health Pat Reiner, a registered nurse. The number of cases at the Mitchell hospital fell this week, Reiner said, but she couldn't say if that was the start of a new trend of just a temporary lull. The latest South Dakota Department of Health influenza surveillance report, which covers the week of Dec. 30 to Jan.
FORT THOMPSON -- A former Crow Creek Sioux tribal chairman convicted in a bribery and kickback scheme has lost his appeal. In a judgment filed Thursday, the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction of Duane Big Eagle, who was found guilty by a federal jury in August 2011 of one count of bribery and two counts of conspiracy to bribe a tribal official.