South Dakota high court denies appeal in mutilation case

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The South Dakota Supreme Court has denied a Sioux Falls man's appeal seeking to be re-sentenced for assaulting his ex-girlfriend and mutilating her breasts.

The Argus Leader reports that the state's high court affirmed Tony Ledbetter's 45-year sentence this week.

Ledbetter had appealed his sentence last year because it exceeded a plea agreement by 15 years. But the high court says the circuit court wasn't bound by the plea deal, which had suggested a 30-year cap on his sentence.

Ledbetter was sentenced last November after pleading guilty to three counts of aggravated assault. Ledbetter's sentencing judge said he went against the plea deal because he felt it was appropriate for the survivor and community.

The high court's ruling says Ledbetter was informed that the maximum sentence for each aggravated assault charge was 15 years.

Read the original version of this article at