S.D. justices find convict late in filing habeus corpus claim

Capitol News Bureau
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled against a man who represented himself at trial for the 2001 kidnapping of his girlfriend in Watertown.

The justices decided unanimously that David Asmussen was late in asking to be brought back before a circuit court judge to determine if his convictions were lawful.

The court released the decision Thursday.

“At several points during trial, Asmussen attempted to raise a nonsensical defense under the Uniform Commercial Code. His attempts were rejected by the trial court,” Chief Justice David Gilbertson wrote.

A Codington County jury convicted Asmussen on two kidnapping courts in late 2006. The circuit judge sentenced him to two concurrent life sentences.

Asmussen’s latest lawyer filed an amended habeus corpus application in September 2017 alleging violations of Asmussen’s rights and of due process, as well as a claim of cruel and unusual punishment.

The Legislature in 2012 set a two-year window for habeus corpus filings. Asmussen began his in January 2015.

“This was a clear procedural default,” Chief Justice Gilbertson wrote.

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