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November 01, 2012 06:09 PM

Woman In Court For Running Over Trooper

Canton, SD

While a South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper remains in critical condition the woman who is accused of driving drunk and running him over made her first court appearance Thursday.

Rachel Coleman, 25, faces attempted murder and aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer charges after investigators say she led authorities on a chase two weeks ago and then ran over Trooper Andrew Steen in the parking lot of a southern Sioux Falls strip mall.

Court documents say Trooper Steen initially tried to pull Coleman over because she had sat through a green light at an intersection and was swerving.

Instead she led authorities on a 20 minute chase through Sioux Falls that ended in gunfire and Coleman running Trooper Steen over with her car. Coleman was shot and taken to the hospital but Thursday she was healthy enough to make her first court appearance.
    
"She was released yesterday [Wednesday] and the warrant was served on her and she was transported to the Minnehaha County Jail," Lincoln County State's Attorney Tom Wollman said.

But the attempted murder, aggravated assault, hit and run, eluding and DUI charges could be increased because Wollman said on Thursday in court that he plans to file paperwork showing that Coleman has a prior felony and is a habitual offender.

Coleman pleaded guilty last year to her third DUI.

"The habitual offender statutes provide for the sentencing court to, in effect, enhance the sentences or enhance the penalties of the crimes that are committed beyond the original felony," Wollman said.

That means if Coleman is convicted of all the charges she faces, the maximum prison sentence could be increased from 66 years to 130 years.

Coleman's defense attorneys are now asking for help in the case. They say due to the extensive and expansive nature of this investigation they are hoping that the court will grant them another attorney to help with Coleman’s defense. A hearing has been ordered on that request next week.

And while Coleman's court case moves forward, Trooper Steen remains in the hospital two weeks after he tried to pull her over.

"The information that we have is that Trooper Steen is still in critical care and that his condition is stable and that he is making some steps towards recovery but that will be a lengthy road," Wollman said.

Coleman is still being held on a half million dollar cash bond.
 

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