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Felony court cases for Jan. 18

A roundup of Tuesday's felony court proceedings for Davison County.

The Davison County Public Safety Center. (Republic file photo)
The Davison County Public Safety Center.
Mitchell Republic file photo
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MITCHELL -- The following cases were among those heard Tuesday, Jan. 18 during a circuit court session at the Davison County Public Safety Center, with Judge Chris Giles presiding:

  • Cale Bender, 35, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with an altered serial number and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, which are both felony charges. He faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison for the two charges combined. Bender is scheduled to be sentenced on Mar. 15.
  • Kanitha Spahn, 21, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to vehicular battery, a class four felony. She faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Spahn is scheduled to be sentenced Mar. 15. According to the affidavit, Spahn collided with another vehicle while driving intoxicated on Highway 37. The head-on collision caused serious injuries to the two victims who were in the other vehicle that Spahn allegedly crashed into. A blood alcohol test showed Spahn had a BAC of .115% immediately after the crash.
  • John O’Brien, 52, of Quincy, California, was sentenced to serve two years of probation for possession of a controlled substance, a Class 5 felony. He was granted a suspended imposition for the charge. O’Brien’s attorney, Deva Wermers, highlighted his crime-free past as a reason for Judge Giles to consider the suspended imposition.
  • Andrew Tuschen, 33, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to failure to register as a sex offender at a new address. He faced a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a $2,000 fine. As part of South Dakota law, Tuschen was required to register his new address within three days of moving to the residence. He was sentenced to two years in prison with two years suspended. Tuschen was also ordered to serve two years of probation, as part of his sentence.
  • Elias Polk, 21, of Mitchell, admitted to violating probation, which stemmed from an assault charge and driving under the influence. He faced a maximum sentence of five years in prison. Instead, Judge Giles revoked Polk’s suspended imposition and sentenced him to restart a two-year probation stint. He was also sentenced to five years in prison with five years suspended.
  • Chance Sheeley, 28, of Lead, was sentenced to two years of probation for violating his previous probation, which stemmed from a DUI.
  • John Estrada, 40, of Mitchell, was granted a one-day furlough to meet with his doctor to renew his prescription medication. Estrada was charged with violating his probation. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 1.
  • Makenzie Thomas, 22, of Mitchell, pleaded not guilty to domestic abuse and aggravated assault by way of choking a victim. She will face a jury trial on April 4, unless she changes her plea prior to the trial date.
  • Nicole Clairmont, 35, of Fargo, North Dakota, failed to appear in court Tuesday for two counts of possession of a controlled substance, including xanax and hydrocodone. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
  • Robert Fitzler, 40, of Sioux Falls, pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary and grand theft in the amount of more than $1,000 and less than $2,500. Third-degree burglary is a Class 5 felony that carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison with a $10,000 fine, while the grand theft charge Fitzler is facing is a Class 6 felony punishable by up to two years in prison and a $4,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 15. A presentence investigation report was ordered to be conducted prior to his sentencing hearing scheduled for Mar. 1.
  • Derek Banks, 35, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to altering vehicle serial numbers, a Class 6 felony. A presentence investigation report was ordered to be completed prior to his Mar. 1 sentencing. Banks’ charges stem from his role in thieving over $100,000 from customers while he was a mechanic at Simply RB. Deputy State’s Attorney Robert O’Keefe said Banks has cooperated with authorities since his arrest by helping return some of the items he stole from customers. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Mar. 1.
  • Matthew Horned-Eagle, 32, of Mitchell, failed to appear in court Tuesday for possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana in the amount of 2 ounces or less and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. He previously pleaded not guilty to all charges. A no bond bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
  • Rebecca Watson, 37, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), a Class 5 felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. She was sentenced to five years in prison with five years suspended. Watson was also sentenced to serve two years of probation for the charge.
  • Jim Roth, 39, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to his seventh DUI charge, which makes it a Class 4 felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Roth’s blood alcohol level was .30, nearly three times over the legal limit. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Mar. 1.
  • Jeff Heidinger, 59, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine. Since he is deemed a repeat offender, Heidinger’s possession charge is considered a Class 4 felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Mar. 15.
  • Marjorie Heidinger, 58, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to possession of morphine while being detained in jail, which is a Class 4 felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Mar. 15.
  • Thomas Adams, 26, of Mesa, Arizona, pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana in the amount between 2 ounces and a ½ pound. He is facing a maximum sentence of two years in prison for the Class 6 felony charge. During a vehicle search, officers found 4 ounces of marijuana in Adams’ possession. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Mar. 1.
  • Jennifer Rydel, 41, of Mitchell, admitted to violating probation. She was sentenced to five years in prison with two years suspended. Rydel has had a history of probation violations prior to her latest charge. In 2020, she was charged for violating her probation stemming from possession of a controlled substance. Prosecutors said Tuesday that Rydel’s drug tests she was ordered to submit had been tampered with in an attempt to cover up the results.
  • Angel Medicine Horn-Pounds, 35, of Mitchell, admitted to violating probation. Deputy State’s Attorney Robert O’Keefe said she recently absconded from her probation officers and was caught setting up a drug deal. O’Keefe noted Medicine Horn-Pounds was in a treatment facility at the time she was caught setting up a drug deal. Judge Giles sentenced her to five years in prison for violating probation.
  • Geno Gehl, 18, of Mitchell, had his next hearing moved to Feb. 1 pending a mental health evaluation. Gehl is facing first-degree robbery and aggravated assault stemming from a Nov. 18 gas station robbery at Easy Come, Easy Go. He previously pleaded not guilty to the charges. However, the second suspect, John Beck, who was charged in connection to the robbery, pleaded guilty on Tuesday. According to an arrest affidavit, Gehl told authorities he shot two rounds from his BB gun to rush the gas station clerk in handing over money.
  • Julius Heath, 26, of Pierre, pleaded guilty to aggravated eluding and operating a vehicle in a dangerous manner. Heath also damaged property during his attempt to flee from officers. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for both charges combined. The vehicle Heath eluded from officers was stolen.
  • Peyton Grew-Owl, 27, of Chamberlain, failed to appear in court Tuesday.
  • Daniel Seiner, 37, of Mitchell, failed to appear in court Tuesday. He’s facing charges that include third-degree burglary, intentional damage to property, petty theft and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. A no bond bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
  • Melissa Culver, 34, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, a Class 5 felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Culver was granted a suspended imposition. She was sentenced to five years in prison with five years suspended. Culver was also ordered to serve two years of probation.
  • Quentin Bear Robe, 37, of St. Francis, admitted to violating probation. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. A presentence investigation report was ordered to be conducted, pushing the next hearing back to April 12.
  • Robert Dierkson, 44, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance (meth), a Class 5 felony that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He was sentenced to five years in prison with five years suspended. As part of his sentence, Dierkson was also ordered to serve three years of probation.
  • Robby Stewart, 41, of Chamberlain, pleaded guilty to unlawfully entering or remaining in a property and intentional damage to property.
  • Garan Crader, 38, of Mitchell, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault against a law officer and simple assault. He was sentenced to two years in prison with two years suspended for the assault against a law officer. For the simple assault charge, which is a misdemeanor, Crader was sentenced to 60 days in jail with 60 days suspended. He was also ordered to serve two years of probation. Crader’s charges stem from an Oct. 6 incident in which Crader barricaded entrances into his residence with a female who was heard crying when officers arrived. The female victim managed to escape the barricade, which allowed officers to gain entry. According to an affidavit, Crader was pacing with a knife in his hand when he defied officers’ commands to drop the weapon. Officers then tased him multiple times to take the knife from his possession and detain him. His attorney, Zach Flood, said Crader’s actions on the night of the incident were motivated by suicidal-like intentions, meaning Crader did not intend to cause harm to anyone involved.
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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