MADISON, SD -
It's day two in the case against a Sioux Falls political activist accused of sending illegal robocalls to South Dakota Republican leaders.
In Tuesday’s opening statements, the prosecution tried to connect 32-year-old Daniel Willard to phone, internet and credit card records linked to the generated calls. But, the defense says the evidence is based on speculation.
On Wednesday morning, Gary Dykstra took the stand. He is one of the key witnesses in the case.
Dykstra met Willard last year when the two were working together for Ron Paul’s Presidential primary campaign in South Dakota.
On the stand, Dykstra said he, Willard and state representative Stace Nelson got the idea to send out these robocalls to people throughout South Dakota because they did not like the voting record of South Dakota Republican leaders when it came to cutting education benefits for veterans. Dykstra said three different people, including Willard, came up with this plan.
Dykstra was offered three different immunity agreements with the state for testimony. So, he will not face charges in this case since he has agreed to testify against Willard.
Dykstra says he helped set up an email address that sent out a message after the robocalls were made explaining why they didn’t have to disclose who they were. He also said that his wife’s voice was on one of the robocalls.
Dykstra admits he was connected to the calls. But he also says both Willard and Nelson were connected to them, as well.
Dykstra says his memory is 'fuzzy' and he can’t remember a lot of the details because it was about one year ago that these calls were sent out.
Willard’s attorneys are trying to poke holes in his testimony. That’s because in previous testimony, Dykstra admitted that he lied, make mistakes and did not tell the full truth in front of a Grand Jury during hearings.
Willard is on trial not because of the content in the robocalls, but because there wasn’t proper disclosure of the name, address, phone number and website of the group that was sending out these calls.
Ben Dunsmoor is in the courtroom and is following this trial. He’ll have more details later on KELOLAND News.
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