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Crime & Courts

SD man accused of murdering brother, pregnant sister-in-law with machete, baseball bat

Police car

A Milbank man is accused of killing his brother and pregnant sister-in-law with a baseball bat and machete before leaving them undiscovered for days.

Brent Hanson also allegedly admitted to the killings — saying he "snapped" and the couple "no longer live here" — during a Christmas-related meetup with the police chief.

Brent, 57, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his brother Clyde, sister-in-law Jessica, and their soon-to-be-born child. Jessica was nine months pregnant.

First-degree murder is punished by the death penalty or life in prison without the chance of parole.

Milbank Police Chief Boyd VanVooren met with Brent on Dec. 15 to give him a Christmas card from a church, according to a probable cause document. VanVooren asked if Brent had been having any trouble with his relatives since he was previously charged with assaulting Jessica.

"They know longer live here," Brent allegedly responded.

VanVooren then heard a request over the police radio for a welfare check at the Hansons' apartment after someone reported seeing blood on the door.

The police chief asked where Clyde had moved to.

"I snapped," Brent allegedly replied as he made a slashing motion across his neck. "I killed them on Sunday."

Brent allegedly said he killed Clyde — who was home alone — on Dec. 12 by hitting him in the head with a baseball bat. Brent allegedly said he killed Jessica when she returned the next morning by hitting her in the head with a machete.

Brent said he was caring for the couple's 3-year-old child.

Police officers later found the child and the dead parents in the apartment.

Brent is detained with a $5 million bond.