- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A judge has taken early testimony in the case of a Philip man accused of subjecting American Indian children to racial slurs and spraying them with beer at a minor league hockey game in Rapid City.

Trace O’Connell’s bench trial on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge isn’t scheduled until later this month, but KOTA-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1S8BwwM ) two defense witnesses who can’t appear at the trial gave testimony on Monday.

Matt Reedy, a member of the group that attended the January hockey game, testified that O’Connell and others had been drinking but that O’Connell accidentally spilled his beer while celebrating. Reedy says no group members made racist statements.

Non-Indian teacher and chaperone Julia Cunningham testified that she heard a statement with racial overtones but didn’t find it offensive.

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This story has been corrected to show that the information came from KOTA-TV, not the Rapid City Journal.

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Information from: KOTA-TV, https://www.kotatv.com


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