Kyle Severson, found guilty on Oct. 2, 2020 of mitigated deliberate homicide, returned to a Sidney court on October 5 with his attorney for a sentencing date on the jury verdict.
(See “Severson found guilty of ‘mitigated deliberate homicide’” for details about the trial and verdict.)
Dressed in jail clothes, Severson sat with his defense attorney, Kevin Chapman, in front of a monitor as Chapman and the State’s attorney interacted with Judge Olivia Rieger via videoconference.
Judge Rieger, appearing on the monitor through a video feed from the Dawson County District Court, discussed with Chapman and prosecuting attorneys potential dates for sentencing Severson on the jury trial verdict of mitigated deliberate homicide.
After brief discussions with defense and prosecuting attorneys, sentencing for the mitigated deliberate homicide verdict was set for Dec. 11, 2020.
There was some discussion about how much time the prosecution requires for the sentencing date. The State requested four hours, but the Defense argued that amount of time seemed excessive.
Judge Rieger quickly settled the matter by setting a starting time of 9 a.m. for sentencing on December 11. Both sides agreed to the date and time for sentencing.
The State’s attorneys then requested a trial date be set for Severson on the second charge of witness tampering. Severson is accused of attempting to convince three witnesses of changing their stories about the shooting and death of Tyler Hayden on July 2, 2019 at the Loaf ‘N Jug in Richland County.
Judge Rieger asked both sides if two days was sufficient for a trial on the second charge, which was separated from the first charge. Although Severson was found guilty by a jury of mitigated deliberate homicide, he had been charged with deliberate homicide.
The lesser crime reportedly requires a prison term of not less than two years and not more than 40 years, with a maximum fine of $50,000.
Richland County Attorney Janet Christofersen requested a three-day trial for the charge of witness tampering, after protesting that it was in the State’s best interest to avoid “dragging it out further.”
However, both sides agreed to set the trial for March 2021. A trial date on the witness tampering charge was set for March 3–5, 2021.
In addition, a pretrial status hearing was set for Feb. 8, 2021.
“That works for the state,” Christofersen said.