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A Mitchell man pleaded guilty Tuesday to third-offense drunken driving. Shawn King, 40, also known as Shawn Buffington, was arrested for drunken driving Oct. 6 after he was pulled over for speeding near the intersection of Second Avenue and Foster Street in Mitchell. A blood test found his blood alcohol content was 0.220 around the time of his arrest. The legal limit for driving in South Dakota is 0.08. Because King has two prior DUI convictions within the last 10 years, he pleaded guilty to a felony and faces a maximum of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine.
A 36-year-old Sioux Falls woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to embezzling more than $1,000 from GTS Enterprises. Allison York was indicted Sept. 21 on one count of grand theft by embezzlement of property received in trust. She has now entered a written arraignment and plea of not guilty to the charge. York's trial is scheduled for May.
PIERRE -- Rep. Lance Carson, R-Mitchell, returned to appreciative applause Tuesday at the Capitol. He is using a heart pump, but that wasn't why he missed week one of the legislative session. He was unloading for his stay on the eve of session's opening day and while reaching he dislocated a rib. He wound up with a hospital stay until Thursday. Now 67, he said his first heart surgery was at age 38. His heart condition stems from exposure to Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.
A Sioux Falls woman convicted of passing more than $1,800 in bad checks at grocery stores in Mitchell and Huron denies violating her probation. Carla Benton, 35, was sentenced Oct. 30 to 40 days in jail and two years on probation for grand theft for passing $1,837.44 in bad checks at Coborn's in Mitchell and Huron. She pleaded guilty to the charge on Sept. 11. Benton entered a written denial Tuesday in Mitchell. Her trial is scheduled for February.
A plea agreement has been reached in the case of a Mitchell man accused of stabbing another man in the arm May 31 during an altercation at a local residence. During court Tuesday at the Davison County Public Safety Center, Jacob Stulken, 22, and his attorney Donna Bucher, of Mitchell, told Judge Tim Bjorkman that Stulken has agreed to plead guilty to aggravated assault and, in exchange, prosecutors have agreed to dismiss other charges.
A 21-year-old Mitchell man was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in jail and three years on probation for his role in intentionally burning a stolen car. Matthew Hart pleaded no contest Dec. 4 to one count of accessory to a felony for helping his 22-year-old brother Jeremiah Hart, of Huron, and 18-year-old Patrick Red Legs allegedly start a stolen car on fire Sept. 9 in the 900 block of West Second Avenue in Mitchell. Hart received a suspended two-year prison sentence and put on probation for three years.
Following are five key aspects of the criminal justice reforms being considered by the South Dakota Legislature. Expansion of drug and DUI courts: The state Supreme Court would have authority in SB 70 to establish a drug court in any jurisdiction and would establish rules and an oversight panel.
A legislative "cracker barrel," or public forum, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the Mitchell Technical Institute amphitheater, 1800 E. Spruce St. District 20 legislators Sen. Mike Vehle and Reps. Lance Carson and Tona Rozum, all Republicans from Mitchell, have been invited. District 20 includes Davison, Aurora and Jerauld counties. A second cracker barrel is scheduled for Feb. 9 at the same time and location. The 2013 legislative session began earlier this month and continues through March at the state Capitol in Pierre.
PIERRE -- The state Transportation Commission wants to regulate newspaper racks at interstate rest stops. State law isn't precisely clear about that duty. It currently refers to "any vending facility" but then appears to refer to only soft drink vending machines operated by a blind or visually impaired vendor licensed by the state Division of Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired. Under Senate Bill 48, the Transportation Commission would receive rule-making authority so there can be standards for their appearance and maintenance.
PIERRE -- The Daugaard administration's clutch of banking bills will start moving Wednesday. The House State Affairs Committee is set to take up the repeal of the lower bank-franchise tax rates on bank income above $400 million (HB 1045) along with increasing penalties for failing to timely and accurately pay bank taxes (HB 1046). The House panel also has scheduled a hearing on a third bill (HB 1053) that would require derivatives and other complex financial instruments to be considered as part of bank lending limits.