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Mitchell man who shot and wounded one during armed robbery sentenced to 15 years in prison

Police went on an hour-long manhunt for White Lance after he shot a victim and fled

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Authorities search for the suspect who allegedly shot and wounded one on June 26, 2021 near the 200 block of North Edmunds Street in Mitchell.
Sam Fosness / Republic
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MITCHELL — A Mitchell man who was charged with first-degree robbery and aggravated assault for shooting a victim during an armed robbery was sentenced Tuesday.

Ransom White Lance, 24, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the charges that stemmed from the assault and robbery that occurred on June 26 in a residence near the 200 block of North Edmunds Street. For the aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon charge, which is a Class 3 felony, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, along with receiving a five-year prison sentence for the possession of a controlled substance charge.

During Tuesday's sentencing hearing at the Davison County Public Safety courtroom, White Lance’s attorney, Richard Rylance, said the forensic tests of the evidence collected from the scene of the crime recently revealed White Lance’s DNA was not found on the shotgun shells. Rather, Rylance said forensic lab results showed the shotgun shells had DNA on them matching the victim who was shot.

While the forensic lab results did not conclude White Lance’s DNA on the shotgun shells, Davison County Deputy State’s Attorney Robert O’Keefe said a witness reported to authorities they saw White Lance shoot the victim with the shotgun he used during the robbery.

The victim suffered injuries from the gunshot wound, but recovered from the incident. O’Keefe noted the June 26 incident could have been “way worse” than what the outcome was.

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Rylance noted White Lance does not have a history of violent crime, which he requested to be considered in his sentencing. White Lance was serving parole for possession of controlled substance charges at the time he was arrested for the armed robbery.

“I think this was an isolated incident that was out of character for him (White Lance). He’s not been a violent individual,” Rylance said of White Lance.

Judge Chris Giles pointed to White Lance being on parole during the incident as a major concern that was factored into the 10-year prison sentence for the aggravated assault charge with a deadly weapon charge.

According to an arrest affidavit, officers responded to the assault around midnight on June 26 after a report alleged a victim had been shot near their home on the 200 block of North Edmunds Street. Upon officers arriving, a witness told authorities that White Lance had “kicked the door” in and entered the residence with a shotgun. White Lance allegedly held the gun to the head of a witness, who was not named in court documents. The witness was described as a secondary person separate from the person who was later shot.

White Lance then demanded the witness to give him a phone and had her place items into a backpack while holding the witness at gunpoint, according to the affidavit. White Lance escorted the witness, who was being held at gunpoint, from the house. Then, the victim arrived home from work.

When the victim arrived home, the witness ran from the house and heard a gunshot, followed by loud screams coming from the victim. Moments later, the witness told authorities she spotted White Lance running north on North Edmunds Street.

After officers went on an hour-long manhunt for White Lance, scouring through parking lots near Sanborn Boulevard with loaded shotguns, they located White Lance inside his residence on 112 N. Rowley St. in Mitchell.

While White Lance initially denied being involved in the incident, he recently pleaded guilty to the charges he was sentenced for.

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During a search on White Lance’s residence following the incident, officers discovered one discharged 12-gauge shotgun and methamphetamine. He allegedly stole between $500 to $1,000 worth of items from the witness involved in the incident.

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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