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Details of Airport Road death unlikely to be released, but one juvenile charged

Cases involving juveniles fall under exemptions to the state's open records laws.

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Airport Road in Mitchell. (Republic file photo)

The investigation into the death of a man whose body was found near Airport Road over two weeks ago has concluded, police say, but few details will likely be released.

Mitchell Police located the body of Tanner Hallman, 18, of Alexandria, in a ditch near Airport Road shortly after 3:15 a.m. on Monday, July 26. Police initially said they believed the male was ejected from the back of a moving pickup.

On July 29, police told the Mitchell Republic that one individual had been labeled as a suspect, but did not release identifying information, as the suspect is a juvenile.

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Lt. Dean Knippling with the Mitchell Police Division confirmed Monday that the division's investigation into the incident has been sent to the Davison County State's Attorney to weigh charges.

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Davison County State's Attorney Jim Miskimins told the Mitchell Republic that charging documents have been finalized against one juvenile, and that his office is continuing to work through the Mitchell Police Division's reports to determine any additional charges against other individuals.

The identity of the juvenile, and the identities of juveniles that could potentially have charges filed against them will not be released.

South Dakota codified law defines public records as all records and documents of or belonging to " this state, any county, municipality, political subdivision, or tax-supported district in this state, or any agency, branch, department, board, bureau, commission, council, subunit, or committee of any of the foregoing. "

However, some criminal proceedings and records are exempted from public access.

Specifically, the law protects the confidentiality of juveniles and their criminal records and proceedings, with few exceptions. Identifying information of juvenile suspects and defendants cannot be publicly released unless ordered by the court, or if the juvenile is to be tried as an adult.

Knippling said that many details of the incident on Airport Road likely will not be released, due to the age of the individual or individuals involved, regardless of whether criminal charges are filed or not.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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