Philip teen sentenced for vehicular homicide in Dalles Brucklacher death
Zane Fees, 18, willingly turned himself in on charges related to the accident, according to Alvin Pahlke, the Jackson County State's Attorney. After the initial charges, Fees was released on a personal recognizance bond. Fees was scheduled to make his next court appearance June 7th at the Jackson County Courthouse in Kadoka. The sentencing was postponed until August 31 in Pierre.
The South Dakota Sixth Judicial Circuit Court has handed down an Order Suspending Imposition of Sentence, which is a withholding of the finding of guilt until a later date. At that time, if all of the many conditions have been met, the defendant's record will be cleared.
Zane Donald Fees shall be incarcerated in the South Dakota State Penitentiary for a period of 180 days, with part of the time in jail suspended upon specified conditions. Thirty of those days began immediately. The next 30 days shall be at the conclusion of the current academic school year, with the remaining 120 days suspended until the end of his term.
Specified conditions include that Fees abide by all conditions of probation for 12 years. The order stated that "the defendant shall pay a fine of $5,000, court costs of $63 and blood test costs of $105 to Jackson County, and restitution of $13,731.40 for the benefit of Sharon Ellwein and Perry Brucklacher."
Fees shall not consume or possess any alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs and shall not enter any place where those items are used.
Fees shall complete 1,200 hours of community service and shall perform five public speaking events per year of his probation. He shall use his best efforts to establish a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Association in the Philip area.
Fees shall submit to and pay for any test of his breath, bodily fluids and substances at any time. He shall submit his person, property, residence, vehicle and personal effects to search and seizure at any time without the necessity of a search warrant.
His driver's license shall be revoked for five years. He may apply for a work permit after completion of his treatment plan.
The court may revoke suspension at any time and may amend any or all of the terms of this order at any time.
The abbreviated highway patrol's official accident report reads: On May 16, 2007, at 1:15 a.m., Fees was driving a 1989 Chevrolet pickup east on 237th Street three-tenths miles west of SD Highway 73 in Jackson County. The pickup left the gravel road while rounding a curve. Dalles Brucklacher was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected during the ensuing rollover. The Jackson and Haakon County Sheriff's Offices and the Philip Police Department assisted at the scene.
Editor's update: Since the accident, Fees has been one of the pall-bearers at Brucklacher's funeral, finished his high school junior year, been employed at the Midwest Cooperative's grain elevator and has begun his senior year at Philip High School. According to school officials, Fees will be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports, after his first 30 days of incarceration.