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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Attorney General Jackley Announces State to Seek Death Penalty in Moody County Chief Deputy Sheriff’s Death

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Contact: Tony Mangan, Communications Director, 605-773-6878

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has announced that the state has filed its notice to seek the death penalty in the First Degree Murder case against Joseph Gene Hoek of Sioux Falls for the Feb. 2 death of Moody County Chief Deputy Sheriff Ken Prorok.

“This is a decision that is never taken lightly,” said Attorney General Jackley. “Based upon the aggravating circumstances of this case, we believe it is appropriate.”

Hoek has been charged with First Degree Murder and Aggravated Eluding.

During a court hearing Wednesday in Moody County Circuit Court, Attorney General Jackley provided written notice to the court on the state’s intention to seek the death penalty if a jury finds the defendant guilty of First Degree Murder. The Attorney General cited two of the statutory aggravating circumstances, where at least one is required to seek the death penalty.

*** That Hoek committed First Degree Murder while Chief Deputy Prorok was engaged in the performance of his official duties; and,

*** That Hoek committed First Degree Murder for the purpose of avoiding, interfering with, or preventing a lawful arrest of Hoek.

“If a jury finds the defendant guilty of First Degree Murder, it will be the state’s intention to offer evidence to the jury that will prove that one or both of these aggravating circumstances have been met,” said Attorney General Jackley.

The next court appearance is 11:00 a.m. June 20, 2024, at the Moody County Courthouse in Flandreau.  The defendant has pleaded not guilty and is presumed innocent under the U.S. Constitution.