High-profile violent crime puts spotlight on South Dakota parole system
Majority of offenders are released on presumptive parole
When he led state troopers on a high-speed chase earlier this summer, James Lanpher was well known to law enforcement.
The 40-year-old Sioux Falls resident had already been deemed a habitual offender and was on parole when he and another frequent flier in the South Dakota criminal justice system, Bonner Juel, raced down Interstate 29 to elude troopers, at times driving on the wrong side of the highway while shooting at troopers, according to court records.
The chase started on July 14 after the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force informed Highway Patrol that Lanpher was transporting a large amount of methamphetamine from Minnesota.
Lanpher had been released from parole by the Department of Corrections in October, just nine months earlier.
The chase ended in Madison, S.D. Lanpher abandoned the vehicle and shot again at troopers before trying to barge into a home. Juel was apprehended in the vehicle. Lanpher was eventually captured after Madison residents grabbed firearms and rushed to the scene to help law enforcement.