The manslaughter trial of U.S. Rep. Bill Janklow begins today in Flandreau, S.D.
Janklow is charged with manslaughter in an Aug. 16 wreck that killed motorcyclist Randolph E. Scott, 55, of Hardwick, Minn.
Janklow’s status as a former four-term governor and sitting congressman elevated the accident and trial to a major news event, not just in South Dakota but across the nation, reports the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader.
The Los Angeles Times calls Janklow “a larger-than-life political figure in South Dakota whose speeding habit was well-known.” He is accused of running a stop sign at more than 70 mph in a 55 mph zone on a rural road and striking and killing Scott.
If convicted, Janklow faces up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The Times reports, “Many in (Flandreau) say they will watch the proceedings with an air of resignation. This, after all, is Janklow’s hometown.”