State suspends two lawyers following Olson plea agreement

State suspends two lawyers following Olson plea agreement by David Lias A plea agreement negotiated by two South Dakota Department of Social Services attorneys certainly is no bargain.

At least in the opinion of Maria Olson, a Vermillion police officer and mother of 5-month-old Jordyn Olson.

The baby was killed last October allegedly by her father, Daren Olson, who was employed as an officer for USD.

Daren Olson�s murder trial was scheduled to begin in Vermillion in early April. The case was to be prosecuted by Campbell, and Gay Tollefson, another attorney for the Department of Social Services.

Now it appears that no trial will take place, and that Daren Olson has agreed to a plea bargain with a sentence of no more than 20 years.

That�s not what Maria Olson wanted, however. According to reports that the Plain Talk confirmed with Bob Gray, a spokesman for Attorney General Mark Barnett, she wanted her ex-husband to serve at least 30 years in prison.

Gray confirmed that during a teleconference with Maria Olson, Campbell was insistent, and at times ranting and raving in favor of the 20-year sentence. He added that Campbell approved the lighter sentence without a required agreement from the attorney general.

�These are Department of Social Services attorneys, but in order to get into the courtroom, they need to be appointed as assistant attorneys general,� Gray said. �In this case, Mark (Attorney General Barnett) has suspended those appointments.�

Gray doesn�t know if a hearing date has been set for Daren Olson to change his plea.

Clay County State�s Attorney Tami Bern, when contacted by the Plain Talk Thursday morning, said she couldn�t comment because of a gag order.

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