During Monday hearing, Lykken insists his case belongs in juvenile court

During Monday hearing, Lykken insists his case belongs in juvenile court
A routine court hearing for David Lykken could not be completed Monday and has been continued until next Monday, July 16 in Elk Point.

Circuit Court Judge Steven Jensen decided to stop short of concluding Lykken's arraignment, opting instead to make sure Lykken, who appeared Monday without an attorney in the Union County Courthouse, receives legal advice before he appears in court again next Monday.

After being escorted into the courtroom shortly before 9 a.m. Monday, Lykken sat calmly in the juror's box waiting for Jensen to appear to begin the hearing.


He sat in an orange jumpsuit, his arms and legs shackled. At times, he nodded and grinned slightly at acquaintances who had gathered in the courtroom.

Lykken's quiet demeanor quickly changed, however, shortly after Jensen entered the courtroom.

The judge asked that Lykken be moved from the jury box to a seat by a table in front of the bench. Lykken chose to speak before following the judge's order.

"Your honor, in 1971, I was a 16-year-old juvenile," he told the judge, adding that Monday's hearing was violating his constitutional rights.

He claimed that he should be charged as a juvenile, and therefore Monday's hearing shouldn't have been open to the public.

"There should be no media present," Lykken said.

Lykken was arrested Monday, July 2, at the South Dakota Penitentiary where he has been incarcerated since 1990. His arrest came after a June 29 indictment from a Union County grand jury that claims Lykken murdered Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson on or about May 29, 1971.

The grand jury charged Lykken with two counts of killing Miller and Jackson "with a premeditated design."

Two other counts charge Lykken with rape and murder of Miller and kidnapping and murder of Jackson.

The final two counts contained in the indictment charge the 52-year-old man with murdering Miller and Jackson by "evincing a depraved mind, regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the deaths" of the two girls.

Jensen continued the arraignment hearing after Lykken was moved from the jury box. The judge reminded Lykken of his rights: that he was presumed innocent of the charges until a court decides otherwise, and that he is entitled to a jury trial.

The judge also told him that he could call witnesses and confront anyone who testifies against him at trial.

Jensen told Lykken that if he was found guilty of the alleged murder charges, he would face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The judge asked Lykken if he wanted to apply for court-appointed counsel. He responded that he wasn't sure yet.

"At minimum, I'm going to appoint counsel to consult with you," Jensen told Lykken.

The judge ordered that Lykken meet with Mike Butler, a Sioux Falls attorney. "He will consult with you, and we will continue the arraignment until 9 a.m. Monday."

Lykken then indicated he would ask for a court-appointed attorney if it would mean they could "get it over," in other words, finish the indictment hearing that morning.

However, he refused to enter a plea.

"I can't plead guilty or not guilty," Lykken said. "It would be a violation of my rights. I was 16 years old when this happened, and you have to treat me as a 16-year-old male."

"It's obvious you have an issue with this," Jensen said after ordering Lykken several times to stop speaking.

The judge reiterated his earlier decision to have Butler meet with Lykken in the penitentiary. The arraignment will continue at 9 a.m. July 16.

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