Crime

Joshua Haiar / SDPB

Lori Brandner said the trouble started while her sister was visiting.  

“I cut our visit short," Brandner said, "because my head hurt so bad.”  

Brandner was serving time at the Walworth County Jail. That’s in Selby, a town of less than 600 people in north-central South Dakota.   

Walworth County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

Inmates sued last month to close the Walworth County Jail in Selby, and now the county commissioners are closing it.

Commissioners approved a motion Tuesday to close the jail and transfer all the inmates to other area jails within 30 days.

Experts told county officials in recent years that the 111-year-old jail is outdated and unsafe, but county officials had kept the jail open.

Attorney Jim Leach of Rapid City represents the seven inmates who sued the county.

Walworth County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

Inmates have filed a lawsuit seeking to close the 111-year-old Walworth County Jail in Selby, which county officials have continued to operate despite numerous reports of unsafe conditions.

The lawsuit says county officials have repeatedly been told by their own experts that the jail is “outdated, grossly inadequate, and dangerous.”

SDPB

In the Moment ... September 4, 2019 Show 651 Hour 1

Members of the Bandido Motorcycle Club made their presence known this Labor Day weekend in the Black Hills of South Dakota. South Dakota law enforcement interacted with various gang members, issuing citations for traffic, narcotics, and firearms violations.

Pennington County Sheriff Department Captain Tony Harrison provides insight into the activities of the Bandido Nation. Harrison is also National Trustee for the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police.

Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... May 14, 2019 Show 575 Hour 1

Alex Hey is an  ADHD Coach and returns to the Kirby Family Studio in SDPB's Sioux Falls studio for the third in a series of conversations about living with ADHD. He's been hosting ADHD public conversation in Sioux Falls on the second Tuesday of every month at Boss' Pizza and Chicken on Minnesota Avenue from 6pm until 8:30pm. Today's topic: The ADHD/Crime Connection.

Education and healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Regional Health, helping patients and communities live well.

In The Moment ... April 4, 2019 Show 549 Hour 1

Arrests for serious crimes in South Dakota are down, but drug offense arrests are on the rise.

The South Dakota Attorney General's office has released the Crime in South Dakota 2018 report compiled by the office's Criminal Statistical Analysis Center. The report reflects the actual arrest and reporting information by South Dakota law enforcement.

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg joins In The Moment to go over the report.

Pennington County

In The Moment ... April 17, 2018 Show 317 Hour 2

Captain Tony Harrison is National Trustee for the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police. He recently attended the FOP's national conference.

apnews.com

In The Moment ... September 26, 2017 Show 185 Hour 1

U.S. Attorney for the district of South Dakota Randy Seiler provides opening and closing remarks this Thursday in Porcupine at the Protecting Our Tribal Communities Conference.  Responding to drugs, violent crime and public corruption are themes at the afternoon conference which features several guest speakers.  The event is sponsored by the South Dakota United States Attorney's Office and the Oglala Sioux Tribe.  What does the Conference hope to accomplish? 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakotans can now report tips about illegal drugs through text messages. Project Stand Up is a statewide campaign that collects anonymous tips about drug crime. Authorities say the program is part enforcement and part deterrent.

With one word and five numbers, people who suspect illegal drug activity can report it. South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says cell phone users text "drugs" to 82257.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The mayor of Sioux Falls is weighing in on the arrest of the former fire chief for possession of child pornography. Wednesday the mayor addressed questions about the situation he calls a tragedy.

Minnehaha County officials announced Monday that Jim Sideras faces 10 counts of possession of child pornography. Authorities executed a search warrant on the former fire chief’s home May 2, which became his last day employed with the city.

Mayor Mike Huether says authorities notified the Sioux Falls Police chief that day, and the police chief informed the mayor.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Law enforcement officers soften their stern authority to better serve people experiencing mental health crises. Training in Sioux Falls tests their ability by simulating real-life scenarios. Twenty-five officials learn new policing strategies in Crisis Intervention Training.

The New Colossus

In The Moment... February 2, 2017 - Show 022, Hour 1

In The Moment ... January 30 2017 Show 019 Hour 2

Guests: SDPB's Kealey Bultena, Senate Bill 55; Karl Jegeris, Rapid City chief of police, talks 2016 crime statistics; SDPB's Karl Gehrke, talks about first jazz recording on record; Richard Carlson, photographer, images of the past

RCPD Seeks Help In Solving Kidnapping Case

Dec 15, 2016
Rapid City Police Department

The Rapid City Police Department is investigating the kidnapping of two adult male subjects by two unknown males.

On Saturday, December third, the two victims were exiting a gas station on the North Side of Rapid City, when police say they were threatened with guns by the subjects who got into the backseat of the victims vehicle. RCPD say the two subjects ordered the driver to head north.

South Dakota Unified Judicial System

South Dakota Supreme Court Justice David Gilbertson discusses the recommendations of the Mental Health Task Force and details the legislative support required to implement suggestions.

Dakota Midday: South Dakotans Pass Marsy's Law

Nov 9, 2016
www.marsyslaw.us

South Dakota voters passed Amendment S with 60% of the vote Tuesday. Amendment S, known as Marsy's Law, establishes constitutional rights for crime victims in South Dakota. SDPB's Victoria Wicks joined Dakota Midday guest host Cara Hetland to provide details on how Amendment S will work.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Sioux Falls doctor is accused of human trafficking after authorities rescued a teenage girl from his home. Officials say they arrested 36-year-old Jonathan Cohen Tuesday after the victim called 911 for help.

Authorities say a 16-year-old from Georgia was reported a runaway in August. Sioux Falls Police Lieutenant Mike Colwill says she met Jonathan Cohen on an internet dating website and traveled to meet him.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Convicted killer Rodney Berget says he wants to stop an appeal that’s preventing him from being put to death, but his attorney can't support the move. The issues are enough to delay major action in Rodney Berget’s case for a few months.

Rodney Berget was in a Minnehaha County courtroom Friday. He wants to end his execution appeal.

Judge Douglas Hoffman asked if he understood that waiving his rights is a path to execution. Berget responded "yes".

That wasn’t enough for the judge to authorize a path to execution that day.

South Dakota Fugitive On ‘Most Wanted’ List

Jul 27, 2016
Department of Justice

A South Dakota fugitive is now on America's top 15 most wanted list. The US Marshals added the alleged child sexual predator to the list. Federal authorities are working with Pennington County law enforcement on the case.

48-year-old David Bonness is wanted by the Pennington County Sheriff and State’s Attorney’s offices for multiple counts of pedophilia and rape. The U.S. Marshals offer a $25,000 reward for information leading directly to his arrest.

Trio Accused Of Contract Killing Plead Not Guilty

Jun 14, 2016
RCPD

Three men accused of stabbing a woman to death last year and hiding her body in a shallow grave near Rockerville have pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges against them, including first-degree murder. 

Paul Dean Jensen was serving life without parole for the murder and kidnapping of Mike Hare when the U.S. Supreme Court gave Jensen a second chance. The inmate was 14 years old when he committed his crimes. He was tried as an adult, and under South Dakota law at the time, his life sentence was mandatory. He spent almost 20 years in prison, and then his sentence was reconsidered at a hearing in Fort Pierre, held on Thursday and Friday last week.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A new study shows judicial reforms saved South Dakota $34 million in the first two years. Sweeping changes in mid-2013 included presumptive probation. That means judges sentencing people for low-level felonies keep offenders in communities instead of sending them to prison. Researchers from the Justice Policy Center say initial results are promising, but the work isn’t finished.

A new report indicates changes that keep more offenders out of prison are helping state coffers without risking public safety.

Sioux Falls Argus Leader

A suspect in last weekend’s shooting death at a Sioux Falls casino was captured in southeast Wyoming late Wednesday night.   Jared Stone led police from five states on a manhunt before his arrest.

Stone is accused of killing Baptiste White Eyes last Friday night in front of the Lucky Lady Casino in Sioux Falls.  Stone has apparently been running ever since.  The U-S Marshal’s Service received a tip that Stone was at a home on the Rosebud Indian Reservation—but Marshal Scott Rolstad says the suspect left the home in Mission before police could get there.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Three people connected to the GEAR UP program and Mid-Central Education Cooperative have been arraigned on accusations of fraud and financial crimes. Stacy Phelps, Dan Guericke, and Stephanie Hubers each pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Lake Andes.

Marty Jackley is South Dakota’s Attorney General.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A grand jury has indicted three people for felony crimes related to a Native American education program. State leaders say people within GEAR UP and Mid-Central Education Cooperative used the programs to steal more than one million dollars. Two of them died in a murder-suicide in September. Authorities announced charges against three other leaders last month.  

Former EB5 Leader Faces Felony Charges

Mar 31, 2016

A man who spearheaded South Dakota’s efforts to attract international investors to the state faces felony charges. Joop Bollen is accused of disposing of personal property subject to security interest.

The federal EB5 program offers visas to people from other countries in exchange for $500,000 investments in American businesses. Bollen ran the effort at the International Business Institute at Northern State University in Aberdeen. Then in 2009 the program switched to private administration through Bollen’s company, SDRC, Inc.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The attorney for one of the people charged with felonies related to the Mid Central Education Cooperative in Platte says the state is using his client as a scapegoat. The investigation involves crimes connected to Mid Central and a program called GEAR UP.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Three people involved with an education cooperative that contracted with state government face criminal charges. South Dakota’s attorney general announced charges of falsifying evidence, conspiracy, and grand theft related to Mid Central Education Cooperative.

Mid Central Education Cooperative gained statewide attention in September when one of its leaders died violently. An investigation revealed that Scott Westerhuis killed his wife and four children before lighting the family home on fire and shooting himself.

Sioux Falls Police Department

Police in Sioux Falls want help solving a missing person case that’s more than four decades old. Authorities say Ellabeth Lodermeier vanished in the '70s when she was 26 years old. Officials are asking for any information available on the anniversary of her disappearance.

Police Detective Pat Mertes says he has indications that Ellabeth Lodermeier is dead, but law enforcement are still trying to figure out what happened when she went missing 42 years ago.

Mertes says Lodermeier’s estranged husband was the last person to see her alive, and she vanished March 7, 1974.

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