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Attempted murder charge dropped for Jerauld Co. man who struck a woman with a silver bar

WESSINGTON SPRINGS -- A Wessington Springs man arrested after striking a woman with a silver bar pleaded guilty to aggravated assault Tuesday. After prosecutors offered a plea agreement to dismiss higher charges, 36-year-old Vernon Parsells plead...

Vernon Parsells, 36, of Wessington Springs, right, sits with his attorney, John Murphy, left, after a court hearing Tuesday in Wessington Springs in which Parsells pleaded not guilty to attempted murder. (Jake Shama / Republic)
Vernon Parsells, 36, of Wessington Springs, right, sits with his attorney, John Murphy, left, after a court hearing Tuesday in Wessington Springs in which Parsells pleaded not guilty to attempted murder. (Jake Shama / Republic)

WESSINGTON SPRINGS - A Wessington Springs man arrested after striking a woman with a silver bar pleaded guilty to aggravated assault Tuesday.

After prosecutors offered a plea agreement to dismiss higher charges, 36-year-old Vernon Parsells pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon at the Jerauld County Courthouse.

According to Parsell's defense attorney John Murphy, in exchange for the guilty plea to aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, prosecutors for the state of South Dakota agreed to dismiss the charge of attempted first-degree murder.

Parsells was originally charged in April with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing hearing was scheduled for later this year, Murphy said.

At approximately 3:42 a.m. on April 4, an ambulance was requested to a residence northwest of Wessington Springs. Upon arriving at the residence, law enforcement made contact with the victim. Her hair was "matted with blood" and her "face and hands were swollen," according to court documents.

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The victim told law enforcement she had been driving around with Parsells. She told law enforcement Parsells allegedly stopped the vehicle and they got out and locked the vehicle's doors. According to the victim, Parsells started to hit her with a silver bar, according to court documents.

Aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon is a Class 3 felony punishable upon conviction by up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

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