S.D.: Charges should not be dismissed
The Associated Press SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A prison inmate charged with killing two Vermillion girls in 1971 has the right to a juvenile transfer hearing, but the charges against him should not be dismissed, a state prosecutor argued. David Lykken...
The Associated Press
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A prison inmate charged with killing two Vermillion girls in 1971 has the right to a juvenile transfer hearing, but the charges against him should not be dismissed, a state prosecutor argued.
David Lykken, who turned 53 Tuesday, pleaded not guilty to six alternate counts of murder for the May 29, 1971, disappearance of Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson.
The 17-year-old Vermillion High School juniors were last seen that day driving a Studebaker Lark on rural Union County road on their way to a party.
Lykken was 16 at the time. His lawyer, Mike Butler, has argued that South Dakota law in 1971 required jurisdiction to start in juvenile court and could move to adult court only after a transfer hearing before a judge.
Butler plans to argue at a hearing Monday in Elk Point that the indictment should therefore be dismissed.
Assistant Attorney General Rod Oswald disagreed.
In a response filed Friday, Oswald argued that state law allows Lykken to be charged as an adult but he can ask for a transfer hearing to determine whether the case belongs in juvenile court.
Arguing that the case should be dismissed "is premature and an extraordinary remedy," and Lykken has options available short of dismissing the charges, he wrote.
Oswald also argued that if the judge determines the current law does not apply, he can order a transfer hearing under the 1971 law.
"A juvenile should not be permitted to frustrate the resolution of a double murder for 36 years, and then hide under his status as a juvenile at the time of the crime," Oswald wrote.
Lykken was arrested July 2 at the penitentiary in Sioux Falls. He was convicted of rape and kidnapping in 1991 and sentenced to 225 years in prison for breaking into a former girlfriend's house and raping her repeatedly over four hours in 1990 in Clay County.