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February 23, 2010 05:52 PM

Murder Suspect Makes First Appearance In Court

Sioux Falls, SD


The suspect in the murder case at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds made his first appearance in a South Dakota courtroom Tuesday.

It was January 4 when the body of 19-year-old Michael Stevens was found at the fairgrounds. One week later, 18-year-old Samuel Lint was arrested in Iowa on related drug charges. On Thursday, Lint was moved to the Minnehaha County Jail and Tuesday, he faced a South Dakota judge for the first time.

Lint made the walk from the Minnehaha County Jail to the courthouse for the first time Tuesday.

When inside the courtroom, the 18-year-old man was formally told his rights and his charges; he faces two counts of murder and two counts of robbery.

Judge Larry Long explained those charges and with a guilty verdict, the maximum penalties include the death penalty. The minimum punishment on the murder conviction is life in prison.

When asked if he understood, Lint answered, "Yes, sir." His attorneys entered not guilty pleas on all counts.

Court papers say Lint was with Stevens at the fairgrounds in the middle of the night on December 30. They were in a car together when Lint used a sawed-off 20-gauge shotgun to shoot Stevens three times.

Investigators later found the gun buried in a snow bank. They also found other evidence connecting Lint to the crime in Milford, Iowa where he was staying including shotgun shell casings, gloves and a coat.

The next court date wasn't set because both sides agreed they need more time because of the nature of the case.

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