Kvasnicka appeals drunk driving judgment and sentence - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Kvasnicka appeals drunk driving judgment and sentence

Posted: Updated:

It was day two of the state supreme court session in Sioux Falls.

Today, the court heard the case of the State vs. Kvasnicka.

In 2010, Tammy Kvasnicka was intoxicated while driving the wrong way on I-229.

A jury found Kvasnicka guilty on several counts, including manslaughter in the first degree, vehicular homicide, vehicular battery and driving under the influence.

Kvasnicka doesn't dispute the facts of the case but says she didn't get a fair trial.

Kvasnicka's attorney Nicole Laughlin took issue with an officer's testimony comparing the force of Kvasnicka's car to that of almost a thousand guns.

"The state in this case had the burden of showing that the vehicle was being used as a deadly weapon. You can't just take the item you're seeking to prove as a deadly weapon and replace it with something that is obviously a deadly weapon in the eyes of the jury," Laughlin said. 

Laughlin said the officer's testimony could have used the force of a baseball or even teddy bears but the state says the officer was just speaking from experience.

Asst. attorney general Ann Meyer said "he was just talking about what he knew best. where he was proficient, which is weapons. and let's face it, the statute says 'it's a dangerous weapon,' it goes to the force of that car."

Kvasnicka was indicted on two felony charges but found not guilty.  Laughlin argued whether the jury considered Kvasnicka's prior DUI as the felony in question.

"It's common knowledge to the public that you do not go to prison that first time you get a dui. so they are now imputed with the knowledge that ms. Kvasnicka has multiple DUI's. Not just multiple DUI's but enough to make this DUI a felony, which is extremely prejudicial," Laughlin said.

Meyer said it's a moot point since Kvasnicka wasn't found guilty of a felony.

"The non-sensical argument here is that there would be some kind of prejudice or due process argument on these first two counts because, this defendant was not convicted on those counts," Meyer said.

Laughlin said her client didn't get a fair trial, not because she says so but because the constitution states she didn't.

Kvasnicka is serving a 70-year sentence in the South Dakota state women's prison. 18 years of that sentence will be suspended if she meets a number of conditions set by the court.

  • Red Door Church holds large Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday

    Red Door Church holds large Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday

    Red Door Church holds large Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:10 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:10:32 GMT
    Easter weekend is here and thousands in Sioux Falls were up early Saturday morning to celebrate it. More >>
    Easter weekend is here and thousands in Sioux Falls were up early Saturday morning to celebrate it. More >>
  • O'Gorman H.S. students to perform "Shrek, the Musical"

    O'Gorman H.S. students to perform "Shrek, the Musical"

    O'Gorman H.S. students to perform "Shrek, the Musical"

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:05:11 GMT
    "Shrek" The Musical is coming to Sioux Falls by way of students at O'Gorman High School.More >>
    "Shrek" The Musical is coming to Sioux Falls by way of students at O'Gorman High School.More >>
  • Drivers frustrated with road construction

    Drivers frustrated with road construction

    Drivers frustrated with road construction

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:20 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:20:42 GMT
    Road construction is in full swing in Sioux Falls. Another round of improvements are underway along Russell Street.More >>
    Road construction is in full swing in Sioux Falls. Another round of improvements are underway along Russell Street.More >>
  • After long wait, ranchers find relief from USDA

    After long wait, ranchers find relief from USDA

    After long wait, ranchers find relief from USDA

    Saturday, April 19 2014 4:32 PM EDT2014-04-19 20:32:04 GMT
    After a devastating blizzard killed thousands of cattle in October, South Dakota lawmaker and rancher Gary Cammack wondered whether his state's ranching community could recover.More >>
    After a devastating blizzard killed thousands of cattle in October, South Dakota lawmaker and rancher Gary Cammack wondered whether his state's ranching community could recover.More >>
  • Sioux Falls Storm tackles child abuse, Saturday night

    Sioux Falls Storm tackles child abuse, Saturday night

    Sioux Falls Storm tackles child abuse, Saturday night

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:57 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:57:19 GMT
    April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and in honor of it, the Sioux Falls Storm plans to spread awareness at Saturday night's game against the Wyoming Calvary.The Storm is partnering with Children's Inn, Waterbury Heating and Cooling, Coleman and Fluxxr to raise awareness about Child Abuse.The event will seek to fulfill three main goals: to raise awareness, to encourage strong families in the Sioux Empire and to raise money for the Children's Inn.Children's Inn offers shelter, crisis...More >>
    April is National Child Abuse Prevention month and in honor of it, the Sioux Falls Storm plans to spread awareness at Saturday night's game against the Wyoming Calvary.The Storm is partnering with Children's Inn, Waterbury Heating and Cooling, Coleman and Fluxxr to raise awareness about Child Abuse.The event will seek to fulfill three main goals: to raise awareness, to encourage strong families in the Sioux Empire and to raise money for the Children's Inn.Children's Inn offers shelter, crisis...More >>
  • Vikings to add another $1.2M to stadium project

    Vikings to add another $1.2M to stadium project

    Vikings to add another $1.2M to stadium project

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:41 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:41:21 GMT
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings are contributing another $1.2 million to the new stadium to put in a bigger video board on the facility's west end and for other video-related upgrades.The funding was approved Friday by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. It brings the total cost of the project from $975 million to $976.2 million.The team had initially agreed to contribute $477 million to the project. In November, the Vikings agreed to put up $26.4 million in contingency funds....More >>
    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings are contributing another $1.2 million to the new stadium to put in a bigger video board on the facility's west end and for other video-related upgrades.The funding was approved Friday by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. It brings the total cost of the project from $975 million to $976.2 million.The team had initially agreed to contribute $477 million to the project. In November, the Vikings agreed to put up $26.4 million in contingency funds....More >>
  • SD lottery offers losing tickets a second chance

    SD lottery offers losing tickets a second chance

    SD lottery offers losing tickets a second chance

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:57 PM EDT2014-04-19 18:57:20 GMT
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Lottery has announced a second chance game for players with losing scratch-off tickets.The program, called Play it Again, will launch next Wednesday. Members of the Lottery Players Club can enter non-winning tickets in an online drawing.Lottery executive director Norm Lingle says other states have similar games and gamers have asked for it in South Dakota. Lingle says second chance opportunities extend the length and value of games.The first game in the pr...More >>
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The South Dakota Lottery has announced a second chance game for players with losing scratch-off tickets.The program, called Play it Again, will launch next Wednesday. Members of the Lottery Players Club can enter non-winning tickets in an online drawing.Lottery executive director Norm Lingle says other states have similar games and gamers have asked for it in South Dakota. Lingle says second chance opportunities extend the length and value of games.The first game in the pr...More >>
  • Railroad group says $1 million pledged locally

    Railroad group says $1 million pledged locally

    Railroad group says $1 million pledged locally

    Saturday, April 19 2014 2:53 PM EDT2014-04-19 18:53:21 GMT
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota organization that helps raise money for railroad rehabilitation says more than $1 million has been committed locally to help match a federal grant for which the state is applying.Rails to the Future says the state is seeking $12.6 million in a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. The state wants to rehab the state-owned railroad from Chamberlain to Presho.The entire project is estimated to cost $29 million. Earlier this month...More >>
    PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota organization that helps raise money for railroad rehabilitation says more than $1 million has been committed locally to help match a federal grant for which the state is applying.Rails to the Future says the state is seeking $12.6 million in a Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant. The state wants to rehab the state-owned railroad from Chamberlain to Presho.The entire project is estimated to cost $29 million. Earlier this month...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.