Friday, August 26, 2005

Justin Allen Nearman "Intended to turn himself in but was arrested before he could" says his attorney.

South Dakota man says he'll surrender on boating charges He had intended to turn himself in but was arrested before he could, his attorney says. By DENISE D. TUCKER SIOUX FALLS ARGUS LEADER August 25, 2005 Sioux Falls, S.D. — A Sioux Falls man accused of operating a motorboat in a fatal hit-and-run accident on West Okoboji Lake declined to give up his right to fight extradition to Iowa during an appearance in Minnehaha County Court on Wednesday. But his lawyer said he would turn himself in to Iowa authorities. Justin Allen Nearman, 29, was arrested Tuesday at Elite Electric in Brandon, S.D., where he works. "There was no problem. He was very cooperative," Lt. Paul Niedringhaus of the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office said of Nearman's arrest. He was in custody about one hour after Iowa authorities contacted the sheriff's office. Court records show Nearman pleaded guilty to second-offense drunken driving in February 2001 and to drunken driving in March 1997. He has also pleaded guilty to multiple speeding charges. Nearman was being held at the Minnehaha County Jail on a $42,250 bond. He was arrested on charges of operating a boat while intoxicated, resulting in the death of another person, and operating a boat while intoxicated, resulting in the serious injury of another person. If convicted of both felonies, Nearman could face up to 30 years in prison. "My client was preparing to turn himself in," Nearman's attorney, Nichole Carper, said in court Wednesday. She said she had problems with the wording of a complaint accusing Nearman of being a fugitive from justice. "The charge was filed yesterday, and he was arrested yesterday," Carper said. Authorities say that a boat Nearman was driving struck another boat on West Okoboji Lake on Aug. 12, killing Michael Brosnahan, 51, of Perry and seriously injuring Brosnahan's 50-year-old wife, Jill. Four others on the boat were not hurt. In court, Nearman stood quietly next to Carper with his arms folded in front of his chest. "My client is choosing not to waive extradition . . . and to go turn himself in (to Iowa authorities)," Carper said. She did not elaborate on when Nearman had planned to turn himself in. Magistrate Judge Julie Irvine set an extradition hearing for Sept. 19. Several family members were in court and declined to comment afterward. The boat believed to have been involved in the crash was seized last week, but officials said Nearman is not the owner. Another man, Ryan Deighton, 21, of Sioux Falls, was a passenger in the boat, but he is not the owner and does not face charges in the case, said John Quinn, a supervisor in charge with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. No information on the boat's owner was disclosed, Quinn said. On Wednesday, Quinn also said no information would be disclosed on what led authorities to Nearman. "We're still in the critical aspect of the investigation, so we're controlling how much information we release," Quinn said. Officials with the Dickinson County Sheriff's Office said the crash happened about 2 a.m. Aug. 12 when a boat rammed Brosnahan's craft and vaulted over it before disappearing. Brosnahan was struck by the part of the boat that contains the gears and propeller, sheriff's officials said. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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