CUSTER COUNTY— It was a packed house in Custer County Court with twenty-one felony cases and multiple misdemeanor cases scheduled to be heard on Monday, July 22. Of the twenty-one felony cases only four were not reduced to misdemeanors due to a plea deal or continued to later court dates.
Jordan Boomhower, 32 of Hastings, made his first appearance in Custer County Court where he is accused of possession of cocaine (a class IV felony) and 3rd degree domestic assault (a class I misdemeanor). Boomhower requested court appointed counsel which Judge Tami Schendt granted and appointed the public defender Michael Borders to represent him in the case. Boomhower will now appear for his preliminary hearing on August 19 at 2 PM.
Dakota Watkins, 22 of Benson, Minnesota, made his first appearance in court as he is facing charges of allegedly possessing with the intent to distribute THC (class IIIA felony), possession of THC (class IV felony), and a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana more than an ounce, less than one pound. Watkins waived his right to court appointed counsel as he was planning on hiring his own attorney. Watkins will now appear back in court for his preliminary hearing on August 26 at 2PM.
David Skeels, 66 of Ansley, will now be headed down the hall to Custer County District Court after he and his attorney, Michael Borders, waived preliminary hearing. Skeels is being accused of multiple felony counts following the accident that killed a South Dakota man in October of 2018.
Skeels is being accused of motor vehicular homicide (a class IIIA felony), two counts of 2nd degree assault (each a class IIA felony), and a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving. Skeels will now appear in Custer County District Court for arraignment on August 22 at 9:30 AM. Skeels could face anywhere between 0-43 years in prison if found guilty of the charges.
Lavern Burnett, 65 of Broken Bow, will also be appearing in Custer County District Court after he and his attorney, Mark Porto, agreed to waive preliminary hearing. Burnett is facing six separate charges where he is accused of sexually assaulting a minor under the age of 14. Burnett is accused of three counts of 2nd degree sexual assault of a child (each a class II felony) and three counts of child abuse (each a class IIIA felony).
According to the complaint, on three separate dates from 2018 to 2019, Burnett did subject another person under the age of 14 to sexual contact that resulted in serious personal injury. The complaint also states that Burnett knowingly, intentionally, or negligently allowed the minor child to be placed in a situation to be sexually abused. If found guilty of all charges, Burnett could spend between 3-159 years in prison. He will now appear in District Court for arraignment on August 22 at 9:30 AM.