Coleman sentencing brings closure - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Coleman sentencing brings closure for Trooper Steen's friends and family

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Rachel Lee Coleman was sentenced to more than four decades in prison  Friday for assaulting trooper Andrew Steen with her car in 2012.
This case was a difficult time for Steen's family, Coleman's family, and Trooper Steen's fellow law enforcement officers.

Much of Friday morning in court, we saw patrol car surveillance video from that October night in 2012.

Watching those scenes was disturbing for many, but the end of this case brought closure in more ways than one.

It was an emotional day in court, reliving Coleman's assault on Trooper Steen in October 2012.

South Dakota Highway Patrol Captain Alan Welsh said "when they were playing the videos,  Andrew's aunt was sitting in front of me, every time you heard a gunshot, every time the car hit, she just jumped. it's tough for us but it's so much more personal for them."

They didn't know if he was going to live or die.

"When they talked about holding their breath because they just wanted to hear that heartbeat on those monitors, that's what it was like, you just kind of had that fear that thing was going to flatline," Welsh said.

But eventually he was back on his feet.

"His recovery is even more amazing. That is attributed to him. That man has a willpower like I've never seen," Welsh said.

Friday, Steen's friends and family found out Coleman will spend her next 42 years in prison for her assault on the trooper and her fourth DWI.

Lincoln County Tom Wollman said "they were happy with the sentence as well. They also wish to extend their sincere appreciation for what they described as the overwhelmingly warm response that they received from South Dakota as they've gone through this ordeal with Andrew and his injuries."

"We're pleased with this decision and hopefully it prevents people from making poor decisions in the future. There shouldn't be assaults on police officers, as everyone said in the sentencing today, if she had just pulled over, all this is avoided," Welsh said.

The judge began Coleman's sentence on the date she was taken into final custody, October 17th, 2012.

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