Prosecutor Expects Busy Wednesday Following July 4th Weekend

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The four-day holiday weekend means three busy courtrooms on Wednesday. Prosecutors are planning on dealing with a high number of first appearances following arrests, Friday through Wednesday morning.  Judges were off Monday and will also be off on Tuesday, and the number of inmates is expected to keep climbing until they can finally go to court.  

From a pair of shootings to multiple DUI arrests; Sioux Falls Police have been busy.  According to Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan, the jail has booked 201 people since Friday night.  200 is the average for a normal two day weekend.  There are still two more days left.

“Wednesday will be extremely chaotic at the courthouse,” McGowan said. 

Even though court was not in session on Monday, Minnehaha County State’s attorneys were at work preparing.  

“This day allows us to get caught up with all the arrests from Friday, Saturday, Sunday,” McGowan said. 

Come Wednesday, three judges in three courtrooms will see suspects who have been sitting in jail since the weekend began. 

“I can’t recall having three courtrooms for initial appearances.  It’s become extremely common for us to have split sessions on Mondays just with arrests on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” McGowan said. 

McGowan says a 65-percent increase in meth crimes from this time last year, is one of the reasons for a growing volume of arrests.

“That really propels a lot of our other serious crimes,” McGowan said. 

Right now, there are preparations to try to get ahead.

“There is an on-call judge that’s doing review hearings for the arrests over the weekend to try to get some people out of the jail in advance of Wednesday’s initial appearances,” McGowan said. 

McGowan cannot predict how many cases they will handle after the long weekend, but he hopes it is not another record breaking day when court is in session. 

“It’s our hope everybody obeys the laws, stays safe over the long holiday weekend.  But, you know, we know we’ll have our work cut out for us on Wednesday,” McGowan said. 


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