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Athol Man Sentenced to Prison for Pointing Unloaded Shotgun at State Trooper

FILE: South Dakota Highway Patrol Car
Anthony Wright/KSOO-AM

A man who pointed a shotgun at a state trooper will spend the next 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated assault of a law officer.

According to the American News, Randall J. Jungwirth, 46, of Athol was sentenced to 15 years, with five years suspended, for pointing an unloaded shotgun on a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper on November 6 of last year.

The incident began when the trooper spotted Jungwirth’s pickup truck stuck in a ditch near Athol. The trooper decided to administer a field sobriety test. That is when things got out of hand.

As he did, Jungwirth returned to his pickup and grabbed a shotgun. A struggle between the men ensued, and Jungwirth pulled the trigger of the weapon twice, according to facts in the case. The trooper did not realize the shotgun was not loaded, Vic Fischbach, Spink County state’s attorney, previously said.

In accordance with the plea deal, Jungwirth must serve at least 50 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. In addition, Jungwirth was ordered to pay court costs.

As part of the plea deal, Jungwirth was not charged with drunk-driving, which would have been his third charge in a 10-year span, which would have resulted in another felony charge.

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