Press "Enter" to skip to content

Jackley Releases Sisseton Shooting Details; Where’s Similar Picture for Benda Death?

Attorney General Marty Jackley held a press conference in Sisseton Friday to discuss the details and conclusions of the state's investigation of the November 22, 2014 murder-suicide that shocked Sisseton and briefly put the entire tri-state area on alert. AG Jackley confirmed that Colter Arbach shot and injured Karissa DogEagle and shot and killed Vernon Renville Jr., Angela Adams, Candice Labelle.

DogEagle was Arbach's girlfriend. In the wee hours of November 22, he punched her three times. DogEagle's three friends took her outside to a car. Arbach followed and fired 18 rounds from a .223 rifle and three rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun. Arbach shot Renville, Adams, and Labelle dead at the car; he shot DogEagle several times in the back as she returned to the house. According to this shooting diagram released by the Department of Criminal Investigations, Arbach shot himself in the driveway.

Arbach shooting crime scene diagram, prepared by Special Agent Jeff Kollars, SD Department of Criminal Investigation, 2014.11.22 (click to enlarge).
Arbach shooting crime scene diagram, prepared by Special Agent Jeff Kollars, SD Department of Criminal Investigation, 2014.11.22 (click to enlarge).

The detailed information Attorney General Jackley released Friday raises three questions:

  1. AG Jackley said nothing (at least nothing published) about his office's failure to positively identify the dead shooter at the scene, an error that led law enforcement to unnecessarily alarm the public with warnings that Arbach was on the loose, armed and dangerous.
  2. The crime scene diagram identifies Item #22 at the foot of Arbach's corpse as a "Beretta 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun." The diagram and the Attorney General identify the other weapon, found in the front passenger seat of the white GMC, only as a .223 caliber rifle. Why does the AG specify the shotgun but not the rifle that did most of the rapid-fire killing? Is there a magic word we're not using to avoid grief for our NRA donors?
  3. This crime scene diagram offers significant detail about a crime about which there has been little public doubt. Why has Attorney General Marty Jackley not released a comparable crime scene diagram from his investigation of Richard Benda's death? With conflicting evidence and widespread public doubt about the plausibility of the official finding of suicide, it would behoove the Attorney General all the more to release the crime scene diagram and other details, like those released Friday in the Arbach case, to assure the public that law enforcement has done its job.

Attorney General Jackley's openness in the Arbach shooting is admirable, if incomplete. AG Jackley should revisit the Benda shooting with similar openness.


  1. jerry 2014.12.21

    Graphics could use a little better presentation, but not to bad. This killing was sensational in the sheer numbers involved, but keep in mind, these are Natives we are talking about here. So of course Jackley's white supporters want to see the nitty gritty of how these folks were gunned down by one of their own. When we get into the discussion regarding the EB-5 and Benda, those same supporters do not want to hear or see about that because it soils their perspective of their knight in shiny armour, Short Round and his valets, Joop and Daugaard.

  2. WayneF 2014.12.21

    Jerry's right on target. Jackley won't publish information about the Benda suicide because it makes stakeholders in a one-party state look bad. Presumably he wants to protect the privacy of Benda's family. Hey! How about the families of the victims (and the perpetrator) in Sissteon?!

  3. Vickie 2014.12.21

    Way to go Marty. *facebalm*

  4. 96Tears 2014.12.21

    What jerry and WayneF (and Cory) said. The joker in the AG's office must be laughing his head off.

  5. Dustina 2014.12.21

    All on point and disgustingly so. Respect the privacy of a man under investigation but have a circus with a diagram of details of the deaths of the four, and we know it's because they were Native American. This type of Sh** is getting old! This has better set the precedent for all investigations. Where's the press release for the Native Foster children who were molested for years by the foster parent and the results of the investigation of the lack of proper follow up by DSS?

  6. charlie5150 2014.12.21

    This is an obviously an example of "South Dakota Common Sense" that makes us all feel safe and secure. Seriously, there are graphics and everything.

  7. Jeff Barth 2014.12.21

    What is obvious is that people are oblivious. Like cattle in the clover all is good.

  8. leslie 2014.12.21

    there may be a statute that requires jackley to do what he did in benda's case, i don't clearly remember so perhaps there was none in this specific situation.

    damn laws can be so specific they require a lawyer to decipher... so its the legislature that has over all these years put people out to pasture.

    big, big changes are needed when the dems get back into power and our leaders need to be well up to this extraordinary task. this isn't your father's politics we are dealing with nationally, in SD less so, but don't forget the Koch boys are fat and happy here in RC and SF. Jeff, you may be one of those leaders. Stay in there for us, buddy!!

  9. leslie 2014.12.21

    my position on benda has always been in a suicide the family continues to suffer and opening these cases up to gossip and coffee shop speculation is nothing short of society's cruelest and most ignorant behavior. if there is a law that protects them, then that is evidence some laws actually serve the public that need protection.

  10. leslie 2014.12.21

    oh, oh, for those that don't know that anecdotal logic (you know, in the coffee shop someone says, well this is how it happened in situation A, so the same must apply in situation B, so you run with that logic in situation B no matter who gets hurt as a result)...doesn't apply in the real world where lawyers get involved, stop thinking you know how a suicide's mind works. you don't know sheit.

    i could be wrong :)

  11. jerry 2014.12.21

    Well leslie you could indeed be wrong. That is why it would not only be in the best interest of the coffee crowd you hang with, but also for the rest of us taxpayers. I do not have a problem with a suicide as such, what I have a problem with is I would like to see those same graphics used to show the distances between point A and point B. You know, to satisfy the question. I would also like to know what happened to all of those millions that only Benda seemed to be in control of, just the little things.

    Of course, I am sorry that this kind of thing is harmful to the family. I think you kind of waive that though when you work in such a high profile job that handled a whole lot of unreported money. We the people do have a right to know about the money that was involved in our name. Mr. Benda was declared the man who had those answers, we need to have him answer up and only Jackley has the power to make it so.

  12. CLCJM 2014.12.21

    As I recall, the statute Jackly used to justify not releasing the autopsy report in the Benda "suicide" said that the report "may" be released. It isn't required. I don't think the statute should leave it to the "discretion" of the attorney general. Makes it to easy to abuse the power of the office and hide the truth from the public. And, at least, until that report is released, I will not believe Mr. Benda's death was a suicide!!!

  13. 96Tears 2014.12.22

    Bob Mercer was the only reporter in South Dakota who took Jackley to court and compel the Attorney General to divulge the details of the Benda violent death investigation. The court ruled in Jackley's favor. The lesson learned is state law must compel public officials to divulge the details of investigations that are considered completed. The need for reforming South Dakota's open government status is profound and should be the subject of a lot of legislative activity, starting with laws and funding that reward and protect whistleblowers as well as mandatory measures to engage independent investigations and prosecutions of white collar crime in state and local governments.

    The legislature should also disband its useless Operations & Audit Committee and rethink its purpose and powers. Letting Joop Bollen, Mike Rounds, Guv DD and the clowns completely off the hook without requiring them to testify under oath is unforgiveable.

  14. Joan Brown 2014.12.22

    All of the news breaks on TV talking about four people dead in a shooting in Sisseton really made me mad, when I read on facebook later on they were talking about the one in November. The news breaks that I heard didn't mention anything about updates or that the shooting happened in November. A couple other people also didn't hear anything about the shooting being an old one.

  15. leslie 2014.12.25

    barth did try to initiate a federal lawsuit preserving and preventing destruction of evidence. did pat work with jeff too, or who did he work for? now that he's getting political, can he share with us anything he came up with that would help AG Jackley or USA Johnson to indict some of these many republican office holders and state government place holders?

Comments are closed.