Elisa Sand / Aberdeen American News
ABERDEEN, S.D. — If there's any issue that would bring former state attorney general Marty Jackley, political blogger Cory Heidelberger and Americans for Prosperity to the same table, it's an issue that would hinder free speech. "If California banned South Dakota corn, that wouldn't be upheld," Jackley said. "You simply can't prevent Tom Barnett from returning to South Dakota (to participate in an election campaign)."
ABERDEEN, S.D. — Two men who had a pistol waved at them during an August incident northwest of Groton said in court that their lives will never be the same. Jason Mettler, 34, of Columbia pleaded no contest to three counts of aggravated assault in connection to the Aug. 4 incident. Ernest Thompson, deputy state's attorney for Brown County, said Mettler made three people fear for their lives when he entered the home and brandished a 40-caliber pistol, discharging it inside.
ABERDEEN, S.D. - Three years after Morgan Bauer left Aberdeen, moved to Atlanta and disappeared, Sherri Keenan still wants answers about her daughter. Keenan, who now lives in Tarpon Springs, Fla., said her daughter's case is a true cold case. Bauer, who graduated from Central High School in 2014, left Aberdeen on Feb. 12, 2016, and was last heard from 13 days later. According to reports at the time, Bauer:
ABERDEEN, S.D. - The man charged in a series of events on June 25 that caused Community Memorial Hospital Avera in Redfield to be locked down was sentenced to 10 years prison.
ABERDEEN, S.D. - An Aberdeen man is seeking a court injunction to prevent the enforcement of an initiated measure that bans out-of-state contributions on ballot measures. Cory A. Heidelberger filed paperwork in federal court Friday. He and his political action committee, SD Voice, have filed a civil lawsuit against Gov. Kristi Noem, Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg and Secretary of State Steve Barnett in their official capacities. Heidelberger's goal is to prevent the implementation of Initiated Measure 24.
ABERDEEN, S.D. - An Aberdeen man who carried on a sexual relationship with his step-sister’s daughter for seven years will now serve prison time for crimes in two counties. Gregory Rutherford, 60, made court appearances Wednesday on charges in Brown County and Tuesday on Brookings County charges. He was sentenced to 15 years in Brown County and five years in Brookings County on incest-related charges. The two counts he admitted to were among 28 charges he originally faced in four counties.
ABERDEEN, S.D. - Many area legislators believe allowing 46 days for early voting is excessive, but a proposal to limit the days to 14 is too short. Sen. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, and Rep. Karl Perry, R-Aberdeen, both sponsored the legislation, which has so far simply been referred to the House State Affairs committee for a hearing. One constituent asked how legislators defend restricting early voting. "Forty-six days for early voting, in my opinion, is too long," Perry said. "Fourteen days is what the bill said, but that's not the (among to time) we're stuck with."
IPSWICH, S.D. - A 37-year old Missouri man has admitted to manslaughter in connection to a 2016 fatal crash in Campbell County. The trial for James Weatherman was set to begin Feb. 11 in Edmunds County. Charges against Weatherman stem from a wreck on July 18, 2016, involving Danielle M. McCollum, 26, of Mobridge. McCollum died as a result of the crash.
ABERDEEN, S.D. - U.S. marshals have been arriving in Aberdeen this week to pay respects to one of their own with a pre-funeral vigil and law enforcement escort. It's a rare sight in town, and one that's above and beyond a traditional service. Norman Merkel, 45, who is originally from Ashley, N.D., had served as a U.S. marshal since 2001. He was first stationed in Victoria, Texas. Since 2015 he had been supervisory deputy U.S. marshal in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he was also commander of the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force.
ABERDEEN, S.D. - A former Aberdeen man who had been granted a new trial in connection to 2012 charges of rape and sexual contact with a child has had the counts dismissed. An April trial had been scheduled for Frederick B. Slota, 47, who was accused of engaging in sexual contact with a 7-year-old girl between Aug. 28, 2012, and Dec. 8, 2012. In 2014, he was convicted at trial and sentenced to 30 years in prison.