SD Supreme Court

In January 2017, two agents from the Division of Criminal Investigation went onto the Pine Ridge Reservation to investigate a crime committed off reservation. They were accompanied by a BIA agent.

One of the DCI agents spoke with a suspect. A Sixth Circuit judge later threw out the statements, saying DCI lacked authority in Indian Country.

Now the South Dakota Supreme Court will decide the issue before the case continues in the Sixth Circuit.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

SD Department of Corrections

Roger Jackson was convicted of third-degree rape for having sex with a woman who suffers from a rare form of dementia. In late 2018, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison with five years suspended.

Jackson, now 72 years old, appeals, saying the sex was consensual. He also holds that the investigation was inadequate, because detectives did not interview the woman.

The state says the woman was not legally capable of giving consent, and she was also not able to answer questions reliably.

SD Department of Corrections

A lifer in the state penitentiary has lost a bid for a new trial. Chance Harruff is serving a mandatory life sentence for strangling his former girlfriend.

He appealed, saying five witnesses' testimony overlapped, and that cumulative evidence prejudiced the jury.

The South Dakota Supreme Court has unanimously upheld his conviction

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

The South Dakota Supreme Court will hold its next term on Feb. 10-11, with oral arguments in three cases on the second day.

The South Dakota Supreme Court has overturned the drug conviction of a Deadwood hotel guest whose arrest started with a traffic stop.

Prosecutors held that one taillight violated state law. But the defense argued successfully that it did not, and so all drug evidence leading from that stop was inadmissible.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

SD Department of Corrections

The South Dakota Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the conviction of the state's last death-row inmate.

Briley Piper has been appealing his death sentence since January 2001, when he pleaded guilty to murder and other felonies.

In this latest appeal, Piper claims he received flawed legal advice. But justices denied his request for a reversed conviction.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Department of Corrections

The South Dakota Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the conviction of the state's last death-row inmate.

Briley Piper pleaded guilty to murder and other felonies in January 2001. He and two friends killed 19-year-old Chester Poage in a gulch near Spearfish in March 2000.

Piper admitted his guilt on advice of his attorneys, believing that taking responsibility would lessen his chances of being sentenced to death. That gambit failed.

SD Department of Corrections

The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the 2007 conviction of an inmate convicted of murdering his wife in Pierre in February 2006.

Brad Reay says his trial lawyer should have called forensic experts to bolster his claim that his adolescent daughter committed the murder.

But the high court says Reay's lawyer used solid strategy.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks has this report.

SD Department of Corrections

The South Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments for a shorter sentence on Tuesday, Oct. 1, from a murderer who was 17 years old when he committed the crime.

As his sentence now stands, Carlos Quevedo comes up for parole when he's 62 years old. He wants the court to expand the leniency for juvenile offenders established in a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court opinion, Miller v. Alabama.

SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

Buffalo Chip Campground near Sturgis became Buffalo Chip City in 2015, after local voters approved the move and the Secretary of State filed the papers.

The city of Sturgis and local landowners challenged the process, but the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled that it's up to the state to challenge incorporation.

And so it did, and a Fourth Circuit judge ruled for the state and nullified Buffalo Chip's status as a municipality.

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.

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