- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 22, 2004

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) — Bill Janklow, who dominated South Dakota politics for three decades as governor and then congressman, was sentenced to 100 days in jail yesterday for an auto accident that killed a motorcyclist and ended Janklow’s career in disgrace.

After 30 days behind bars, Janklow will be allowed to leave jail during the day for up to 10 hours to perform community service. After he completes his jail term, he will be on probation for three years, during which he will not be allowed to drive.

The 64-year-old Republican was found guilty Dec. 8 of second-degree manslaughter, speeding and running a stop sign for a collision that killed 55-year-old motorcyclist Randy Scott at a rural intersection on Aug. 16.

“If I could change places with him, I would. It’s easy for me to say that, but I would,” the former congressman told the judge before hearing his sentence. “All I can say, judge, is I’m sorry for what happened and I wish I could change it.”

South Dakota does not require minimum sentences, so Judge Rodney Steele was free to impose anything from no jail time and no fines to a total of more than 11 years behind bars and $11,400 in fines.

The judge fined Janklow $5,400 and ordered him to pay $50 a day for the cost of his 100 days in jail, for another $5,000. Janklow was ordered to report to the county jail in Sioux Falls on Feb. 7.

During the trial in Janklow’s hometown, the jury saw him in tears as he described his grief over the crash. The defense argued that Janklow, a diabetic, had not eaten for 18 hours and was suffering a diabetic reaction that left him confused and disoriented.

A prosecutor called the scenario “goofy” and said Janklow concocted it as an excuse for going 71 mph in a 55 mph zone in his Cadillac.

Janklow announced his resignation from the House hours after the verdict.


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