SD Supreme Court

SD Department of Corrections

In January 2007, Brad Reay was convicted of killing his wife by stabbing her more than three dozen times and slashing her throat.

He enlisted his twin brother in a failed attempt to frame his wife's lover for the murder.

At trial, he tried to convince the jury that his young daughter had committed the crime.

On Tuesday, Aug. 27, Reay tried to convince the South Dakota Supreme Court that his trial attorney should have hired experts.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

File photo

EB-5 has become code for one of South Dakota's most complex political scandals. EB-5 is the program by which foreign investors buy a chance at getting a visa by investing a half million dollars to create jobs.

EB-5 is alive now in federal court, with foreign investors suing to be repaid a loan of $32.5 million.

The money came from a limited partnership called SDIF, which brought in 65 foreign investors putting up $500,000 each.

A limited liability company, or LLC, called Tentexkota, borrowed the money to build the Deadwood Mountain Grand casino and event center.

A former employee of Northern State University has appealed her firing to the South Dakota Supreme Court. The former director of the student affairs counseling center says she was fired in December 2017 as retaliation for whistle-blowing. Her university supervisors and the Board of Regents say she didn't go through proper channels to appeal her firing.

The Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday, April 30. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Department of Corrections

A Milbank man convicted of second-degree murder is getting a new trial.

A Third Circuit jury found Michael Swan guilty in September 2017 of stomping his wife to death a year earlier. Swan was at that time 63 years old, and his wife was 77.

The trial judge refused to give the jury an instruction that they could also consider a lesser charge of manslaughter.

The Supreme Court says the trial judge abused his discretion by doing so.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this story.

A former Rapid City police officer is not entitled to survivor's benefits, because she and her deceased wife were not married at the time of the retirement. That's the decision of the South Dakota Supreme Court in an opinion released Thursday, Feb. 21.

The court says the couple could have legally married in another state to satisfy South Dakota's retirement laws.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

SD Department of Corrections

A prison inmate convicted of child rape and pornography will not get a new trial. The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of Waylon Uhre, whose appeal was heard on Oct. 3.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

The South Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday, Jan. 8, from a former Rapid City police officer denied survivor's benefits after the death of her wife, a police captain. The South Dakota Retirement System requires spouses to marry before retirement to be eligible for survivor's benefits. But in this state, the couple could not marry legally in time to qualify. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Department of Corrections

A murderer serving life in the South Dakota penitentiary is not entitled to a new trial. That's the opinion of the South Dakota Supreme Court, made public Thursday, Jan. 3.

Jason Lewandowski was convicted in October 2017 after a jury trial in Webster. He was found guilty of shooting Jeremy Hendrickson in the head while Hendrickson's wife and two small children were present.

Lewandowski asked the Supreme Court to overturn his conviction because he should have had a lawyer before talking with an investigator. And he says a plea deal should have been honored.

The South Dakota Supreme Court has denied a prison inmate's bid to have a say in who raises his child.

Irving Jumping Eagle is serving life for killing the child's mother. He argued before the Supreme Court in August that he has the right under the Indian Child Welfare Act to ask that his sister raise his child.

Jumping Eagle appealed a Third Circuit ruling that the child should remain in the care of the mother's relatives, who are non-Indian.

The high court upheld that decision.

For more information on this case, listen to previous coverage below.

SD Department of Corrections

A violent prison inmate has failed in his bid to get a shorter sentence. The South Dakota Supreme Court has found that the sentencing judge was not bound to honor a plea agreement the inmate made with the prosecutor.

Antonio Ledbetter is serving 45 years, but he says the judge reneged on a deal to sentence him to 30 years.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that a price can be set on heartache.

The court sends an alienation of affection lawsuit back to the Fifth Circuit to determine monetary damages.

Jerry Cedar of Frederick sued Bruce Johnson for having an affair with his wife and causing the breakup of his marriage.

Circuit Judge Richard Sommers determined at trial that Cedar had not given proof of monetary damages. Cedar appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

SD Department of Corrections

A prison inmate serving 80 years for raping a four-year-old child is asking for a new trial. The South Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday, Oct. 3, from the attorney for Waylon Uhre, who was also convicted of 10 charges of sexual contact with minors and 20 counts involving child pornography. Uhre contends the judge erred by closing the courtroom when the rape victim testified. He also says investigators violated his right to an attorney.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

A Frederick man who sued his wife's lover for alienation of affection has asked the South Dakota Supreme Court to help him put a price on heartache. The high court heard the case on Tuesday, Oct. 2.

The appeal comes from a 2017 decision in the Fifth Circuit. There the trial judge said the humiliated husband had not given any testimony to support his request for financial compensation.

In his response to the appeal, the "other man" asked the Supreme Court to abolish South Dakota's alienation of affection law as a matter of public policy.

SD Department of Corrections

The South Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments from death-row inmate Briley Piper on Monday, Oct. 1. Piper is represented by Sioux Falls attorney Ryan Kolbeck in his attempt to withdraw the guilty plea he entered in 2001. Piper was one of three murderers convicted of kidnapping, torturing, and killing 19-year-old Chester Poage in Spearfish Canyon in March 2000.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Department of Corrections

Death-row inmate Briley Piper is once again going before the South Dakota Supreme Court. He continues to fight his death sentence and is trying again to withdraw the guilty plea he entered in 2001. Oral arguments are set for Monday, Oct. 1.

Piper was convicted of taking part in the kidnap, torture, and murder of 19-year-old Chester Poage, who died on March 13, 2000, in Spearfish Canyon.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

An Oglala Lakota father claims his rights were violated when his child was placed in the guardianship of the mother's Caucasian relatives. At the time of the placement, the father was in jail, accused of killing the child's mother. His attorneys told South Dakota Supreme Court justices that even while incarcerated, the father was entitled to protections under the Indian Child Welfare Act and the U.S. Constitution. The guardians' attorney says the trial court took those protections into consideration. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Victoria Wicks file photo

A jury trial has been set for January in a class-action lawsuit against Black Hills Federal Credit Union and the Credit Union National Association, or CUNA. Those agencies are accused of changing policies and raising rates for death or disability insurance without adequate notice to more than four thousand borrowers.

The suit has been going on for years. It was first filed in 2011. In August 2013, the South Dakota Supreme Court issued an opinion that a class action could commence. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports from oral arguments and the opinion in that appeal.

SD Department of Corrections

The South Dakota Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a Sioux Falls man convicted of manslaughter. David Randle Junior was convicted of carelessly handling a gun and causing the death of another man at a party in Sioux Falls on Oct. 24, 2015. The high court finds that the trial judge erred by not allowing the jury to consider excusable homicide. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report, taken from details outlined in the written opinion.

SD Department of Corrections

The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld a First Circuit judge's decision to increase the sentence of a defendant who flipped him off in the courtroom. The high court heard oral arguments in April. At issue was whether the sentencing hearing had ended before the judge called the defendant back to reevaluate the sentence he had just imposed. SDPB's Victoria Wicks explains.

To read the full opinion, click here:

http://ujs.sd.gov/uploads/sc/opinions/28407dhae758.pdf

Last June, a convicted felon who disagreed with his sentence and flipped off the judge ended up with more time in prison. Now the South Dakota Supreme Court will decide if that First Circuit judge could legally impose that longer incarceration. The resolution depends on whether the defendant was no longer under the court's rule. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday, April 17. SDPB's Victoria Wicks explains.

Victoria Wicks file photo

The South Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday, April 17, from opponents and proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline.

In 2015, the Public Utilities Commission accepted TransCanada's certification that it can comply with the conditions of its 2010 permit.

Opponents appealed that certification to the Sixth Circuit Court last year, and now appeals the court's decision to the state's high court.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Department of Corrections

The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of Christopher Dean Kryger, who raped and strangled a Sioux Falls woman in her home in 2014.

Kryger appealed his conviction, saying the judge made errors at trial that prejudiced the jury against him, and that there wasn't enough evidence to support a guilty verdict.

At oral arguments last month, Assistant Attorney General Ann Meyers told Supreme Court justices that the jury had heard Kryger's objections to the evidence.

The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that Buffalo Chip City remains a city. The high court released its opinion on Thursday, Jan. 25.

Buffalo Chip is located a few miles outside of Sturgis. It incorporated as a city in the spring of 2015. The city of Sturgis tried to block the election but a circuit judge allowed it to proceed, and voters approved the incorporation.

The Supreme Court says because Buffalo Chip became a city, only the state or someone acting on its behalf can challenge the process.

SD Department of Corrections

The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of Russell Ray Bertram. The former Harrisburg Chief of Police killed his fiancee in October 2009. Earlier that year he took out $920,000 worth of insurance on her life. The state Supreme Court affirms the trial court's refusal to admit polygraph evidence. And justices support the lower court's decision to allow evidence of Bertram's sexual improprieties.

To read the opinion, click on this link:

The South Dakota Supreme Court is sending an insurance settlement back for trial. A Sioux Falls woman involved in a car collision says she agreed to a settlement without understanding what she was signing. When complications from an unknown injury later resulted in an additional $400,000 in medical bills, the insurance provider refused to pay. A lower court granted summary judgment to the insurance company. The high court disagrees with that decision.

Click on story below for coverage of oral arguments.

To read the entire opinion, click this link:

SD Department of Corrections

A prisoner serving life for murder is appealing his conviction, citing errors made at trial. Christopher Dean Kryger made his case in oral arguments before the South Dakota Supreme Court on Tuesday, Jan. 9. Kryger was convicted of raping and murdering a Sioux Falls woman in her home on March 14, 2014.

A former employee of an assisted living center in Lead won't get her day in court. Shirley Harvey sued Regional Health for slander and other grievances after she was fired for harsh treatment of a resident at Golden Ridge.

Harvey says fellow employees made false allegations against her to retaliate after she made negative reports about them.

She claims that Regional Health supervisors committed slander when they repeated these false allegations to others.

Andrew Bork, SDPB

An oversized house built in the historic McKennan Park district in Sioux Falls has to be modified or reconstructed. That's the decision issued by the South Dakota Supreme Court on Thursday, Jan. 4. The house is eight feet taller than allowed by city ordinance and did not follow the proposal home builders submitted to the city's historic board. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

The South Dakota Supreme Court has overruled an earlier opinion concerning intentional infliction of emotional distress in divorce cases. In 1989 the court ruled that a former spouse can't sue the other spouse for intentional infliction if that behavior led to the divorce. Now the supreme court has reconsidered. SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

To read the court's opinion, click on this link:

http://ujs.sd.gov/uploads/sc/opinions/27754boeeo6g.pdf

The South Dakota Supreme Court has sent a lawsuit over sunflowers and herbicides back to the Fourth Circuit. A Corson County sunflower grower sued South Dakota Wheat Growers, saying a herbicide prescribed by an agronomist wiped out twelve hundred acres of sunflowers. But the high court says there are disputed issues of fact that need to be resolved by a jury.

Pages