Charles Beeney is escorted from the Regional Correction Center to the Beadle County Courthouse by jailer Chad Sporrer, left, and deputy Skip McWethy, right, after being returned to Huron on Wednesday afternoon by Sheriff Doug Solem. PHOTO BY MIKE CARROLL/PLAINSMAN
HURON — It took very little time to return Charles Leroy Beeney to Sioux Falls.
This time the man from Kansas wasn’t on his own, driving a stolen pickup truck after escaping from jail, but escorted by law enforcement officers to the state penitentiary.
Beeney, 45, was sentenced to the maximum term of two years in prison in a brief Wednesday afternoon hearing.
Circuit Judge Jon Erickson handed down the maximum sentence for a felony aggravated eluding charge in a Jerauld County case.
It stemmed from a December chase that ended in a crash west of Alpena that damaged a brand new, stolen pickup from Bismarck and bruised his face.
At the time of his escape, Beeney was awaiting the filing of a presentence investigation by court services after having pleaded guilty. But the court proceeded directly to sentencing after he waived the report.
As he begins serving his prison time in South Dakota, Beadle County prosecutors will decide what they will charge him with in connection with the escape, threats to a jailer and the theft of a pickup truck east of Huron.
After his capture in Sioux Falls Tuesday evening, Beeney was returned to Huron Wednesday for a 1 p.m. sentencing hearing. It lasted only minutes, and he was then on his way to the penitentiary.
Sioux Falls police officers were notified at about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday of a possible sighting of Beeney in a Sioux Falls Laundromat.
Beadle County Sheriff Doug Solem said he was told the individual watched TV until seeing the news report of the escape. He then left the store.
Law enforcement officers watched surveillance camera recordings and confirmed that it was Beeney.
Minnehaha County sheriff’s deputies, meanwhile, located the 1990 white and blue Ford pickup and began looking for a possible suspect.
Officers watching the vehicle saw someone in the truck and approached it, taking Beeney into custody without incident.
No charges have yet been filed in connection with the escape, said Beadle County Deputy State’s Attorney Jeff Banks.
After his capture, Beeney was booked into the Minnehaha County Jail for possession of a stolen vehicle and numerous warrants for his arrest.
Solem said the report from Sioux Falls police includes no mention of the makeshift gun Beeney used to threaten a jailer with his life.
In an interview after the sentencing, Jerauld County Sheriff Jason Weber said Beeney has proven that he’s not willing to follow the rules and needs to be punished.
No officers were injured in the lengthy chase late last year that began in Buffalo County and involved law enforcement personnel from five counties and the Highway Patrol. But such chases involve a high level of risk.
Most of the chase was off the roads and challenging.
“It wasn’t your typical car chase,” Weber said.
The pickup Beeney had taken in Bismarck was new, with only 350 miles on it, and from a Chevrolet dealership. When arrested, Beeney claimed to have found it at a truck stop.
Jerauld County State’s Attorney Deach Koch handled the aggravated eluding case.
When asked by the judge, Beeney said he had nothing to say on his own behalf.
Not long after that, he was driven back to Sioux Falls.
For the complete article see the 01-10-2013 issue.
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