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State v. Traversie

Supreme Court of South Dakota

March 9, 2016

STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
ROCKY THOMAS TRAVERSIE, Defendant and Appellant

         Considered on Briefs February 16, 2016

Page 328

          APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT MINNEHAHA COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA. THE HONORABLE SUSAN M. SABERS, Judge.

         MARTY J. JACKLEY, Attorney General, JARED TIDEMANN, Assistant Attorney General, Pierre, South Dakota, Attorneys for plaintiff and appellee.

         BEAU J. BLOUIN, Minnehaha County, Public Defenders Office, Sioux Falls, South, Dakota Attorneys for defendant and appellant.

         ZINTER, Justice. GILBERTSON, Chief Justice, and SEVERSON, WILBUR, and KERN, Justices, concur.

          OPINION

Page 329

          ZINTER, Justice

          [¶1] A jury returned guilty verdicts against Rocky Traversie on six counts of kidnapping in the first degree, eleven counts of aggravated assault, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The circuit court entered a judgment of conviction and sentence on six of the counts, and Traversie appeals. We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

          [¶2] On February 5, 2014, Sioux Falls Metro Communications received a 911 call from a woman requesting assistance. Police would later identify the woman as Tanya Ross. Tanya told the dispatcher that " we are being held hostage by a family member, please come." The call disconnected and a second 911 call was received a few moments later from Michelle Miller. Miller stated that her neighbors " came pounding on my door, they say they need the cops, I don't know what is going on." The evidence reflects that Tanya and her son, C.D.R., were at Miller's door asking her to call the police. When asked by the dispatcher what was going on, Miller responded, " The brother is going crazy[.]" Miller also told the dispatcher that " the brother" was Rocky Traversie.

          [¶3] C.D.R. then spoke to the dispatcher. He told the dispatcher that Traversie threatened to kill them. C.D.R. also indicated that Traversie " just came inside after he heard us call the police on him, and me and my mom just jumped out a window." C.D.R. indicated that Traversie was still in their residence with C.D.R.'s grandmother and three other children. He stated that his grandmother was " still trapped down there with [Traversie]." C.D.R. indicated that Traversie was high on methamphetamine. He also indicated that Traversie struck Tanya on the head and struck C.D.R.'s grandmother on the leg with a brick. While C.D.R was on the phone, Miller and Tanya watched outside because Tanya was afraid that Traversie might follow them. They believed Traversie left because his vehicle was no longer parked at the apartment complex.

          [¶4] Police Officers Starr and Hanisch were the first law enforcement officers to arrive. Officer Hanisch made contact with C.D.R.'s grandmother, Diana Ross, who is Traversie's mother. C.D.R. was with Diana, and C.D.R. confirmed that Traversie struck Diana with a brick.

          [¶5] While this conversation was occurring, a third officer, Officer Dunteman, observed that a vehicle matching the description of Traversie's had returned to the parking lot of the apartment complex. When Officer Starr located Traversie and informed him that he would be detained, Traversie punched Officer Starr in the face. Moments later, Traversie punched Officer Dunteman in the face, forcing him

Page 330

to the ground. With these officers temporarily incapacitated, Traversie delivered a series of punches to the face and body of Officer Hanisch. Traversie was subdued after more officers arrived. During his arrest, several baggies containing methamphetamine were found on Traversie's person. The baggies contained three incremental ...


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