fiddler

Francois Fiddler, 22, was arrested Saturday at a home on the east side of Pierre and charged Monday in state court with aggravated assault/domestic violence that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Fiddler said he moved from Eagle Butte to Pierre about six weeks ago. (Photo from Hughes County Jail)

Francois Fiddler, 22, of Pierre, was arrested Saturday, Aug. 24, by city police after they were called to a reported assault in the 100 block of Bulow Drive, which is about a block north of Lariat Lanes and a block east of Garfield Avenue/U.S. Highway 14 truck bypass.

The charge of aggravated assault in domestic violence that he faces carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if he were to be convicted.

According to Police Capt. Bryan Walz, about 11 a.m. Saturday police arrived to find Fiddler and a woman in an argument in which she said he strangled her and took her cell phone when she tried to call for help.

“A third party attempted to intervene to assist the (woman) and was struck by Fiddler,” Walz said in a news release.

Fiddler was taken to the Hughes County Jail and held.

On Monday, he was charged with aggravated assault domestic violence as well as possible misdemeanor charges of simple assault and interference with an emergency communication, according to Walz’ news release.

Fiddler appeared in court Monday afternoon via ITV from the jail and was charged with the aggravated assault/domestic violence count, a Class 3 felony with a possible 15-year sentence; and two misdemeanor counts: simple assault of the third person and interfering in an emergency communication.

Fiddler told Magistrate Judge Leo Disburg that he has worked full-time at a Pierre hotel for about a month and moved to Pierre from Eagle Butte about six weeks ago.

He said he lives with a relative and couldn’t pay his rent if he wasn’t able to get out of jail on bond.

Fiddler also is wanted in Sioux Falls on a $5,000 bond on a burglary charge that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison if he were to be convicted of it, according to what Disburg said in court.

Disburg set Fiddler’s bond on the Pierre charges at $6,000 cash, which is what Hughes County State’s Attorney Roxanne Hammond requested.

Disburg asked a jail official if the booking information indicated that alcohol was a factor in Fiddler’s arrest and the answer was yes. Disburg then ordered Fiddler to avoid alcohol, including bars, and to have no contact with his two alleged victims, as part of his bond conditions.

Disburg appointed Pierre attorney David Siebrasse to represent Fiddler and set his next court appearance for Oct. 15 when he can enter a formal plea.

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