Potential bill draws attention from murder victim’s mother

The mother of a murder victim fell on the side of disapproval.
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 5:13 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Senate Bill 146 was brought to the legislature as “an act to revise certain provisions regarding eligibility for parole for certain persons sentenced to life imprisonment.” If passed, the bill would give people 25 and under who committed a crime and were sentenced to life in prison the chance for parole.

The South Dakota Senate passed this bill in mid-February.

But after being sent to the House Judiciary Monday, it was deferred to the 41st legislative day, likely killing the bill.

As Senate Bill 146 worked its way through the legislature, South Dakotans fell on both sides. Mark Vargo, the Pennington County State’s Attorney, wanted to know more specifics on who the bill would impact. Whereas Timothy Rensch, president of Rensch Law, supported the bill saying it gave young people a new chance.

The mother of a murder victim fell on the side of disapproval.

“I do not like it at all. It’s been 21 years since my son was killed,” said Dottie Poage, Chester Allan Poage’s mother. “Why would I want my son’s killer out on the streets out on parole. He doesn’t belong on the streets.”

Dottie Poage is Chester Allan Poage’s mother, a 20-year-old who was murdered almost 21 years ago on March 13, 2000.

Of Chester’s three murders, one was sentenced to life. A bill like this could have given him the option for parole.

“From day one, Darrell Hoadley was sentenced to life in prison. He will never be on the death penalty, and he will never walk. He will never get on parole. I accepted the results on all three cases,” said Dottie. “He played his part in murdering my son, torturing my son, and laughing about it and thought it was all a game. And it’s a type of crime that deserves the maximum penalty, and even though he got life in prison, he too does not deserve to walk out in society.”

Poage said legislation like this would be heartbreaking, taking away justice for her, her son, and others in similar situations.

“I’m aiming towards that ending, that final justice,” said Dottie. “It would take that away. I’ve been fighting for this for 21 years, and it would devastate me if there was a change from what I was fighting for.”

Copyright 2021 KEVN. All rights reserved.