In the Spotlight

News & Features
More from MPR
Your Voice
DocumentJoin the conversation with other MPR listeners in the News Forum.

DocumentE-mail this pageDocumentPrint this page
Prosecution rests in Janklow trial
Larger view
Pictures entered into evidence by the prosecution on Wednesday. (Cara Hetland)
The prosecution has rested its in the felony manslaughter trial of South Dakota Congressman Bill Janklow. Witnesses testified Janklow was coherent after the accident and declined medical attention. And jurors heard about Janklow speeding and running a stop sign a year ago.

Flandreau, S.D. — A witness told jurors Bill Janklow nearly hit her family last year at the same intersection where the congressman and motorcyclist Randy Scott collided in August. Jennifer Walters testified she and her family were traveling east when a speeding white Cadillac ran the stop sign from the south and missed their pickup by a few feet.

Walters said she heard tires screeching and gravel kicking up and turned to see the white car. She called 911 on her cell phone and reported the incident.

Sheriff deputy Tony Aas said he stopped a white Cadillac just outside of Flandreau shortly afterward. He clocked the car at 92 miles per hour in a 65-mile-per-hour zone. Aas said the driver was Janklow.

A former highway patrol trooper testified he clocked then-Gov. Janklow driving 84 in a 40-mile-an-hour construction zone a year ago. Lyle Tolsma said Janklow appeared to be losing control on an uneven temporary road surface near Rapid City. Tolsma said he slowed and moved over to avoid being hit by Janklow.

Another prosecution witness said Janklow did not appear to be suffering from low blood sugar after the crash. Medic Mark Bonrud testified Janklow told him he did have something to eat or drink earlier in the day and his blood sugar was fine.

The defense contends Janklow was having a diabetic reaction at the time of the accident.

Janklow's aide, who was a passenger in the congressman's car, also testified. Chris Braendlin said Janklow did not eat all day. He also testified Janklow appeared to be fine. Braendlin had difficulty describing the accident. He said he remembers slowing down, but he doesn't know if it was before the stop sign or after impact. He also testified he did not see the stop sign but he did see a motorcycle to his right, which would likely be Randy Scott's friend. Braendlin said he remembers Janklow bounced around like a rag doll.

The defense called its first witness, a state lab chemist who said he found no traces of alcohol in a sample of Janklow's blood.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, several physicians and an accident reconstructionist hired by the defense are expected to testify as the trial continues.

Respond to this story
News Headlines
Related Subjects