Petersen makes preliminary hearing at Kadoka

Back to jail ... Thomas Petersen was escorted from the Jackson County Courthouse by Kadoka Chief of Police Woody Davis following Petersen’s preliminary hearing last Thursday morning. Terry Deuter assisted in transport of Petersen to the Winner jail.

Thomas Petersen, 39, appeared in Jackson County court for a preliminary hearing Thursday, June 16, at 10:00 a.m. with Judge John Brown presiding.

Petersen has been held in jail following an incident in Jackson County on Sunday, June 4.

After his wife, Judy Petersen, of Greene, Iowa, was found dead, Thomas was named the suspect in the murder, and their two-year-old son, Jacob Duncan Petersen, was missing.

An Amber Alert was issued, which listed Petersen as armed and dangerous. He was later found in Jackson County.

At the hearing in Kadoka on Thursday, Jackson County State's Attorney Daniel Van Gorp called three witnesses, Bryan Warner of the Badlands National Park, Jackson County Sheriff Raymond Clements, Jr. and Haakon County Sheriff Mel Smith.

The officers were sequestered and each one gave a verbal account of the events leading up to the capture and arrest of Petersen.

In a tag-team manner, Warner told his account of what happened from the time he first heard the Amber Alert until Petersen was arrested.

Petersen's court appointed attorney, Kevin Lewis, cross examined, asking if Petersen appeared to be suicidal when Petersen told law enforcement officers, "... shoot me." Warner said he was not in the right profession to make that call.

Clements gave his statement from the time that he was involved in the pursuit and Smith did the same.

Lewis questioned Clements, regarding the three times his pickup was hit by Petersen.

In the end, Judge Brown set Thursday, June 30, at 10:00 a.m. for the arraignment date for Petersen to appear back in court.

Former South Dakota Highway Trooper Terry Deuter left the courthouse with Petersen who was transferred to the Winner jail until his plea date on June 30.

Meanwhile, the Iowa Attorney General's Office said the investigation into the death of Petersen's wife is still ongoing. The Butler County, Iowa, sheriff's office said that no warrants have been issued for Petersen at this time.