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Petersen pleads not guilty

by Ronda Dennis, Kadoka Press

Thomas Petersen appeared for his arraignment on Thursday, June 30 at the Jackson County Courthouse, pleading not guilty on all six charges.

Petersen was charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault on two law enforcement officers, one count of aggravated eluding and one count of reckless driving.

Petersen has been held in the Winner jail since he was arrested on Sunday, June 4, following a high speed chase that destroyed two sheriff vehicles and injured the Jackson County and Haakon County sheriffs.

His preliminary hearing was held June 16. After Judge John Brown read Petersen his rights Thursday morning, Petersen pled not guilt on all counts.

Petersen's court appointed attorney, Kevin Lewis, added not guilty by reason of insanity. He further felt Petersen should have a psychological evaluation in Rapid City. Lewis said charges in South Dakota should be resolved before extradition.

Jackson County States Attorney Danial Van Gorp said first degree murder charges have been filed with a $1.5 million bond in Butler County, Iowa, against Petersen.

Petersen is a suspect in the Iowa murder of his wife and is also facing the above charges in South Dakota. As of June 30 there was no request for extradition.

There will be a July 14 hearing request regarding the psychological evaluation made by Lewis on Petersen's behalf.