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Davison County felony court cases for Aug. 30

During Tuesday’s felony court proceedings, a Lake Andes woman charged for violating probation said she fled from a treatment facility due to fears of being “sex trafficked” from the treatment center after other patients informed her of alleged sex trafficking reports.

The Davison County Public Safety Center serves as the home for county lockup.
The Davison County Public Safety Center.
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The following cases were among those heard Tuesday during a circuit court session at the Davison County Public Safety Center, with Judge Chris Giles presiding:

  • Meaghan Carter, 22, of Mitchell, pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault (domestic abuse) with a deadly weapon, a Class 3 felony that carries a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison and a fine. An arrest affidavit alleges Carter chased a victim in a residence with a knife over not being allowed to use a cell phone that belonged to the victim.
  • Michael Wermers, 28, of Dimock, pleaded not guilty to second-degree robbery, a Class 4 felony that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Wermers allegedly covered a security camera at the Corn Palace Inn motel to commit a robbery inside of a motel room, according to an affidavit. Authorities were provided statements about an alleged video of Wermers showing him and another individual assaulting the victim prior to stealing keys and a cell phone, an affidavit alleges. He was granted a personal recognizance bond on Tuesday to allow his release from jail. Wermers was ordered to comply with twice-weekly urinary analysis testing while out on bond.
  • Allen Thomson, 29, of Mitchell, had an arraignment hearing set for Sept. 13 for the following charges: distribution, possession of marijuana in the amount of 1 ounce or less with intent to distribute, a Class 6 felony, possession of a controlled substance (THC wax), a Class 5 felony, possession of marijuana in the amount of 2 ounces or less and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Thomson was pulled over by officers for his vehicle allegedly having illegally tinted windows.
  • Jai Mimmack, 36, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to a fourth-offense Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge, a Class 5 felony that carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He was sentenced to five years in prison with five years suspended. As part of his sentencing, Mimmack was ordered to serve three years of probation and successfully complete the James Valley DUI Court program. He was recently accepted into the program. Mimmack received credit for serving seven days in jail.
  • Janis Fasthorse, 46, of Mitchell, was granted a personal recognizance bond on Tuesday to allow her release from jail. Fasthorse was being held in custody in connection to her alleged role in the rape of a 15-year-old victim. According to an arrest affidavit, on July 14, a 15-year-old victim reported being raped by two individuals, later identified as Elgina Callahan,48, and Fasthorse. Authorities were told one of the two suspects punched the victim in the face and was knocked out prior to the rape. The victim woke up to Callahan and Fasthorse performing sexual acts on the victim, an affidavit alleges. She was charged with second-degree rape through force, coercion or threats, a Class 1 felony that carries a maximum sentence of up to 50 years in prison and a $50,000 fine, fourth-degree rape of a victim under the age of 16, pimping and solicitation of a minor. Fasthorse pleaded not guilty to all charges during an early August hearing. She is scheduled to face a jury trial in mid-December unless she changes her plea prior to the trial date.
  • Jeffrey Bigelow, 61, of Mitchell, pleaded not guilty to grand theft in the amount between $5,000 and $100,000, a Class 4 felony that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, and possession of a forged instrument with the intent to defraud, a Class 6 felony that carries a maximum punishment of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine. According to an arrest affidavit, Bigelow passed multiple fraudulent checks to banks that amounted to $5,570. When authorities brought him in for questioning, Bigelow had a $29,500 check in his possession that he endorsed but never cashed, an affidavit alleges.
  • Riley Coughlin, 18, of Sioux Falls, pleaded not guilty to distribution, possession of marijuana in the amount of less than a ½ ounce with intent to distribute to a minor, contributing to abuse, neglect or delinquency, speeding on other roadways and a seat belt violation. He is scheduled for a jury trial in mid-December unless he changes his plea prior to the trial date.
  • Kelby Weisser, 32, of Platte, pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance, each Class five felonies that carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, possession of marijuana in the amount of 2 ounces or less, a Class 1 misdemeanor, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class 1 misdemeanor. Weisser is scheduled for a jury trial in mid-December unless he changes his plea prior to the trial date.
  • Charles Sundahl, 58, of Mitchell, pleaded not guilty first-degree burglary, a Class 2 felony that carries a maximum punishment of 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine, second-degree petty theft in the amount of $400 or less, a Class 2 misdemeanor, and intentional damage to property, a Class 1 misdemeanor. An arrest affidavit showed Sundahl was heavily intoxicated at the time of his arrest.
  • Deven Winter, 22, of Wyoming, pleaded guilty to identity theft, a Class 6 felony that carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine. She was sentenced to two years in prison with two years suspended. Winter’s identity theft charge stemmed from her stealing a credit card from a victim. She was ordered to pay roughly $900 in restitution fees and serve probation.
  • Ynosencia Lopez-Ferguson, 18, of Flandreau, admitted to violating probation. She is serving probation for possession of a controlled substance, a Class 5 felony. Lopez-Ferguson is facing up to five years in prison for the violation, which stemmed from her not attending court-appointed treatment programs and violating the 24/7 alcohol screening program.
  • Sabra Dion, 33, of Lake Andes, admitted to violating probation stemming from abruptly leaving a treatment facility. During Tuesday’s hearing, Dion explained she fled from the treatment facility due to reports from other patients that alleged women were being “sex trafficked” from the treatment center. Dion said she received multiple offers from people at the treatment center to buy methamphetamine, which she cited as another reason that prompted her to leave the Iowa facility. Dion’s attorney, Grant Alvine, highlighted that Dion was not terminated from the facility for any violations of drug use. Dion also noted she turned herself in to authorities after leaving treatment. She is serving probation for possession of a controlled substance, a Class 5 felony. Judge Giles indicated Tuesday that other reports have surfaced similar to Dion’s and decided to keep Dion’s suspended imposition in place, along with her probation term. That means Dion could have the felony charge she was initially sentenced for sealed upon completion of probation and other court orders.
  • Kevin Hedrick, 42, of Platte, pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance, a Class 5 felony, possession of marijuana in the amount of 2 ounces or less and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, both Class 1 misdemeanors. He is scheduled for a jury trial in mid-December unless he changes his plea prior to the trial date.
  • Savannah Redday, 37, of Pukwana, admitted to violating probation. Redday’s violation stemmed from her being terminated from the James Valley Drug Court program. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison with six years suspended. Redday received credit for serving 118 days in jail.
  • Joshua Chasing Hawk, 40, of Yankton, pleaded not guilty to aggravated eluding, a Class 6 felony that carries a maximum punishment of two years in prison and a $4,000 fine, failure to make a proper stop, speeding on other roadways, illegal lane change, habitual offender violation and no driver's license. Charging Hawk led officers on a vehicle pursuit that ended in Aurora County, which is about 25 miles west of Mitchell, according to an arrest affidavit. Davison County Deputy State’s Attorney O’Keefe said Chasing Hawk reached speeds in excess of 100 mph during the police chase. He is scheduled for a jury trial in mid-December unless he changes his plea prior to the trial date.
  • James Carman, 56, of Arlington, Washington, pleaded guilty to violating probation. He was sentenced to five years in prison with three years suspended. Carman received credit for serving 49 days in jail.
The 15-year-old victim woke up after being punched in the face to the Mitchell women performing sexual acts on the victim, an affidavit alleges.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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