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State prosecutors say an accused killer's tossed-out confession should be reinstated in the case of a slain Mitchell girl. The confession is that of Maricela Diaz, who is accused of killing 16-year-old Jasmine Guevara, of Mitchell, in November 2009. First Circuit Judge Tim Bjorkman has excluded statements Diaz made to police after her arrest on Nov. 11, 2009.
PARKER -- Lawyers for a Scotland man accused of killing his infant son continued to present their case to a jury Monday in Parker. Chris Miller, 39, is charged with killing his four-month-old 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. Miller's trial, which began with jury selection Jan. 17, is being held at the Turner County Courthouse in Parker since it was moved out of Bon Homme County by a judge last October.
Since early 2011, Mitchell's eateries have passed more than 97 percent of state health inspections. According to public records newly available online through the South Dakota Department of Health, 305 inspections have been performed at 91 licensed food-service establishments in Mitchell since early 2011. Of those 305 inspections, eight resulted in a failing score -- a pass rate of 97.4 percent. Bill Chalcraft, administrator of the state Office of Health Protection, said the scores in Mitchell are characteristic of what his department is seeing across the state. "There are
Legislation that would allow prosecutors to appeal when a circuit judge throws out a jury's guilty verdict has some roots in a Mitchell case. The legislation, Senate Bill 35, would allow prosecutors to appeal to the South Dakota Supreme Court when a circuit judge believes a jury has misapplied the law in a criminal case and sets aside a guilty verdict. The current statute only allows prosecutors to appeal the dismissal of an indictment, a motion for a new trial and a deviation from a mandatory drug sentence. The bill was proposed by South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.
KIMBALL -- With many farms growing bigger, more farmers are using surveillance cameras to keep an eye on their ever-expanding livelihood. Brian Price, 47, is the owner of On Sight Video Surveillance, a surveillance company based in the Kimball/Platte area. Since Price started the company in 2011 -- after spending 20 years working in information technology in the Twin Cities -- it has started to specialize in rural and farm surveillance. "It's not like when you used to have a farm on 160 acres," Price said.
A 21-year-old Mitchell man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly hitting another man in the head with a metal pipe because of a dispute over the ownership of a dog. Three other people have been arrested for allegedly not reporting their knowledge of the assault to police. Ryan Geske is charged with aggravated assault for the alleged attack, which was reported to the Mitchell Police Division at approximately 1:07 a.m. Jan. 19, minutes after the attack occurred outside a residence at 709 S.
An inmate at the Davison County Jail has been charged for allegedly attacking a jailer on Jan. 1. Jeremiah Hart, 23, of Huron, has been indicted on two alternate counts of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, which is a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. Hart remains in custody with his bond set at $25,000 cash. The charges stem from a Jan. 1 incident in which Hart allegedly attacked James Dietz, a part-time corrections officer at the jail.
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.