JANKLOW GUILTY; WILL RESIGN

MSNBC reports the end of this sad story:

A jury convicted Rep. Bill Janklow of manslaughter Monday for a collision that killed a motorcyclist, rejecting the congressman’s claim that he was disoriented by a diabetic reaction. Facing a possible 10-year prison sentence, Janklow, a popular former governor and one of the state’s most influential politicans, said he would resign his House seat.

THE JURY in Janklow’s boyhood hometown deliberated for about five hours before returning its verdict.

Janklow appeared stunned as the verdict was read. He walked steadily out of the courtroom, got in a vehicle driven by his son and left the courthouse. He refused to respond to questions shouted by a horde of reporters.

Jurors also left the courthouse without talking to reporters. They were escorted out by the sheriff, who said they did not want to talk to the media. Both prosecutor Bill Ellingson and defense attorney Ed Evans refused to comment.

Janklow, 64, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, running a stop sign and speeding for the Aug. 16 crash that killed Randy Scott, 55, a farmer from Hardwick, Minn. Prosecutors said Janklow was traveling more than 70 mph in his white Cadillac when he crashed with Scott’s Harley-Davidson.

Janklow could get up to 10 years in prison on the manslaughter charge when he is sentenced Jan. 20. Had he not decided to resign his House seat, effective Jan. 20, he also would have faced a House ethics committee investigation that could have led to his expulsion.

Janklow, a Republican, was elected to South Dakota’s lone House seat last year after an extraordinary political career in which he served four years as state attorney general in the 1970s and 16 years as governor. During his two stints as governor, Janklow won over legions of voters in heavily conservative South Dakota with his tough-talking, maverick style.

FILED UNDER: US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.