Spearfish man pleads not guilty to vehicular homicide

Courtesy photo

DEADWOOD — The driver of a vehicle involved in a September 2021 traffic fatality allegedly resulting in the death of his 9-year-old son, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him before 4th Circuit Court Judge Eric Strawn at the Lawrence County Courthouse June 7.

Jessey Lee Pullen, 41, was indicted by a Lawrence County grand jury April 13 and charged with vehicular homicide, a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and $30,000 in fines, or, in the alternative, second-degree manslaughter, a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

Pullen was also charged by complaint April 13 with two counts of failure to wear a safety belt; operator to assure that passengers between 5 and 18 wear seat belts; and speeding 69 mph in a 55-mph zone, all Class 2 misdemeanors punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine per count.

The crash happened north of Deadwood around 4:45 p.m. Sept. 23, 2021 when a 2006 GMC Sierra K1500 pickup allegedly driven by Pullen was traveling southbound on Highway 85, left the roadway, went into the ditch, and rolled.

Kelton Pullen, the 9-year-old male passenger was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Pullen sustained life-threatening injuries. Neither occupant was wearing a seat belt,

Lawrence County Chief Deputy Pat Johnson said Pullen is free on $10,000 cash surety.

Pullen is scheduled to appear in court again Aug. 2.

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