FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Monday, October 20, 2014
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605)773-3215
Circuit Court Upholds Kleinsasser Conviction
PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Trandahl 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 sentenced 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 diligently to ensure that these convictions are upheld and the victims of these violent crimes continue to have a voice,” said Jackley.
Kleinsasser alleged numerous claims including, ineffective assistance of counsel, that the State violated the plea agreement and the sentencing judge failed to properly advise him of his rights before sentencing. All of Kleinsasser’s claims were rejected by the Court in today’s decision. The Court found defense counsel adequately investigated his case and Kleinsasser’s allegations were unsupported by the evidence.
In January 2009, Kleinsasser shot his wife as she scrubbed the kitchen floor, but claimed self-defense saying that his wife had shot him first. One of his young children was an eye-witness to the event.