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Sioux Falls man pleads not guilty to three burglaries of Emery bar, held on multi-county bond

Across the three alleged burglaries in Emery, Ridgeway is accused to have stolen roughly $8,500 in cash and done significant damage to the business.

RIDGEWAY, MASON RORY - #22-00231.jpg
Mason Ridgeway
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ALEXANDRIA, S.D. — A Sioux Falls man will remain in the Davison County Jail after entering not guilty pleas to charges in four separate cases Wednesday morning at the Hanson County Courthouse in Alexandria.

Mason Ridgeway, 22, of Sioux Falls, is accused in Hanson County of burglarizing the same Emery bar on three occasions, as well as failing to return from custody following discharge from treatment. He also has four other cases pending in three other counties.

His charges stem from allegations that he burglarized four bars a total of seven times across Hanson and Turner County. In Hanson County, police say Ridgeway burglarized Sandy’s Bar in Emery on Sept. 11 and Sept. 20.

While in the Davison County Jail awaiting court hearings, Ridgeway was released on furlough. Hanson County Sheriff Brandon Wingert said Ridgeway was discharged from a treatment center in Sioux Falls and failed to return to custody. Between his discharge from treatment and his capture, Ridgeway is accused of burglarizing Sandy’s Bar a third time.

Across the three alleged burglaries in Emery, Ridgeway is accused to have stolen roughly $8,500 in cash and done significant damage to the business.

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“Mr. Ridgeway, you’ve made your situation a bit complicated at this point,” Judge Chris Giles said during Tuesday’s hearing, rubbing his right temple with two fingers. “I think Mr. [RJ] Rylance (Ridgeway’s attorney) is doing a good job at working things through and navigating a situation for you.”

After accepting Ridgeway’s not guilty plea on all four cases, Giles hinted at the possibility of a plea deal, but warned the state may pursue the newer, more serious charges instead of offering an agreement on older charges.

“Technically it’s the state’s choice, really, as to which [charge] they want to pick [for trial],” Giles said. “... The oldest in time of the allegations would make sense, but there are different factors that could come into play.”

Rylance pointed out to Giles that Ridgeway has other proceedings taking place outside of the state’s first judicial circuit, and requested that all four of his cases be moved from June to August.

After acknowledging Ridgeway was scheduled for a hearing in Turner County on Thursday, he agreed. Jury trials were set in all four cases for the week of Aug. 8, with a change of plea agreement proposal deadline of June 24 and a change of plea deadline of July 6.

Across all four Hanson County cases, Ridgeway faces three counts of third-degree burglary, one count of grand theft of over $5,000, three counts of intentional damage to property, three counts of criminal trespass and one count of second-degree escape.

In other counties, Ridgeway faces five counts of third-degree burglary, five counts of grand theft, five counts of intentional damage to property, eluding and petty theft. He’s pleaded not guilty to all charges in all counties.

If convicted on all charges in all counties, he could be sentenced to serve up to 112 years in prison, plus be ordered to pay nearly $225,000 in fines.

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“You’re going to remain in custody until we get these matters resolved,” Giles said firmly.

Ridgeway is currently being held at the Davison County Jail on multiple bonds as well as a South Dakota Department of Corrections hold.

Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at HDunteman@MitchellRepublic.com, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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