South Dakota News

Judge issues warrant for former US Senate candidate's arrest
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A judge has issued a warrant for the arrest of a former South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate charged with election law violations because the Black Hawk man failed to appear in court this week. Circuit Court Judge John Brown issued the warrant after former independent candidate Clayton Walker didn't appear at a hearing on Wednesday. Walker faces felony charges for submitting nominating petitions that investigators allege included names of dead people, fictitious people and Hollywood celebrities. On Wednesday, another former U.S. Senate candidate, Annette Bosworth, also had to appear in court related to election law violations during her 2014 primary campaign. She avoided jail time provided she successfully completes three years of probation. A phone number for Walker could not be found. His trial is scheduled for later this month.

State could be on hook for legal fees in gay marriage case
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota could end up owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to the private attorneys who fought its ban on same-sex marriages unless a federal appeals court sides with the attorney general. Minneapolis attorney Josh Newville has represented six same-sex couples for more than a year as they've challenged the state's ban. Newville hasn't been paid yet for his services and now plans to seek attorney's fees from the state. Before he can do that, the federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has to affirm the decision U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier made in January that declared the ban was unconstitutional. Attorney General Marty Jackley this week filed a motion seeking to dismiss the case, arguing Schreier erred in her original ruling.

AG: Employees can have someone else issue marriage license
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Attorney General Marty Jackley says if a county employee in South Dakota has religious objections to gay marriage they can have another employee issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. Jackley said Thursday that the constitutional right to marry that's now guaranteed to same-sex couples must coexist with the constitutional right of freedom of religion for county employees. The attorney general said the issue hasn't come up yet in South Dakota but said one county official has asked him hypothetically what would happen. Jackley says if another county employee was able issue a license, it would be a "commonsense solution" and wouldn't violate the rights of the couple or the employee. He says if someone else was not available, another county or the state could issue a license.

SD authorities revisiting cold case deemed homicide in 2000
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota authorities are revisiting a cold case that was determined to be a homicide in 2000 thanks to new 3-D technology. Attorney General Marty Jackley says the FBI's 3-D technology is allowing authorities in the state to release updated photographs of the homicide victim. In February 2000, skeletal remains of an unidentified man were discovered near St. Onge, a community 14 miles north of Deadwood. Authorities at the time determined the man died from multiple gunshot wounds. Jackley says the new technology was used to develop a three-dimensional head shot of the victim that can give investigators and the public a better idea of how the man looked before his death. Jackley and authorities in Lawrence County will publicly share the photographs Tuesday in Deadwood.

Prosecutors discuss plea deal in BIA official's stabbing
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say they met with the Bureau of Indian Affairs superintendent for South Dakota's Crow Creek Indian Reservation before entering into a plea deal with a man accused of stabbing the official in the back. Brian Iron Boulder pleaded guilty last week to attempting to murder Patrick F. Duffy in March, and federal prosecutors dropped assault charges. Iron Boulder will be sentenced Sept. 14. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office says Iron Boulder pleaded guilty to the most serious charge — which could put him in prison for up to 20 years. She also says the prosecutor consulted with Duffy before offering the plea deal. Defense attorney Douglas A. Abraham declined to say why his client accepted the plea deal rather than take the case to trial.

Charges dropped against Columbia man accused of raping girl
ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Prosecutors are dropping charges against a Columbia-area man accusing of raping a girl over a period of eight years. The American News reports that a statement from the Brown County State's Attorney's Office says the charges are being dismissed in the interest of the victim and that the decision was made in consultation with the victim's family. Authorities alleged that 55-year-old Thomas Kline abused the girl in her home, in his home and in a church, beginning when she was 8 or 9. He earlier pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts and had been scheduled for trial next month. Prosecutors still have the option of re-filing charges against Kline in the future.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press