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South Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Kleinsasser Conviction
PIERRE, S.D.- Attorney General Marty Jackley announced that the South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the manslaughter conviction of Herman P. Kleinsasser. Kleinsasser pled guilty to manslaughter in the first degree for the shooting death of his wife, Sharon and was sentencing to 80 years in the state penitentiary.

“Kleinsasser willingly entered a plea of guilty for the shooting death of his wife. The Attorney General’s Office works hard to ensure those committing violent crimes are held accountable and victims of these crimes continue to have a voice,” said Jackley.

Kleinsasser filed an appeal raising three issues including ineffective assistance of counsel, that the State violated the terms of the plea agreement and lastly, certain errors occurred during his sentencing hearing.

The Court found that Kleinsasser failed to prove the circuit court’s finding of fact are clearly erroneous and further failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he is entitled to relief.

In January 2009, Kleinsasser shot his wife as she scrubbed the kitchen floor, but initially claimed self-defense saying that his wife had shot him first. Four of his young children saw their mother dead, while Kleinsasser stood over her with his shotgun.