Protest greets guilty pleas in hate crime attackProtest greets guilty pleas in hate crime attack
The Dakota, Lakota, Nakota Human Rights Advocacy Coalition held a protest on Thursday to call attention to the hate crime attacks against Indians in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Theresa P. Janis, 47, who is physically handicapped, was taunted at a Wal-Mart in the city last December. As she drove away from the store, her vehicle was chased by two women who tried to run her off the road.

“I was never so scared in my life,” Janis said outside the Pennington County Courthouse, The Rapid City Journal reported.

Jenna Gitzke, 21, and Miranda Sheldon, 21, agreed to plead guilty to malicious intimidation. They are the first people in the county to be charged in connection with South Dakota's hate crime statute.

The attack on Janis was one of two incidents for which the women faced charges. They are also accused of throwing eggs and rocks on Indian pedestrians last December.

The county prosecutor is still working on a sentencing agreement for the women. It's possible they may serve time in prison or receive probation.

Get the Story:
Prosecution of Pennington County's first hate crime stirs emotions, awareness (The Rapid City Journal 7/17)
The Fives: A shooting on the rez, a twister in the foothills and skating babies lead the week (The Rapid City Journal 7/17)

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