South Dakota man faces felony charges in reported domestic assault
Incident took place in Slayton.
MURRAY COUNTY — Evan Kordonowy, 40, of Rapid City, South Dakota, is charged with third-degree assault resulting in substantial bodily harm, first-degree aggravated robbery, and first-degree witness tampering for allegedly preventing a person from providing information about a crime to law enforcement using force or threats.
Kordonowy is also charged with preventing or hindering another person from placing an emergency call, as well as domestic assault.
The charges stem from a Feb. 3 incident in which Slayton Police responded to a store on reports that a patron — identified later as the victim — appeared to have been involved in a physical altercation. The victim was gone before police arrived, but was later found at a local establishment in an emotional state.
A member of the Lyon County Sheriff's Office spoke with the victim, and observed several bruises on their neck and chin area, along with red marks and what appeared to be scratches. The victim confirmed they had been at the store early that day, but left out of fear that Kordonowy, with whom the victim had a personal relationship, would cause them harm.
The victim stated they had been with Kordonowy and some friends in Worthington most of the day. After returning home and dropping off friends, Kordonowy reportedly began yelling at the victim and threatening to punch them.
The victim thought Kordonowy was intoxicated, but had not observed him drinking. The victim reportedly told Kordonowy they would leave him if he hit them again. When Kordonowy reportedly shoved the victim, they said they would call the police.
According to the report, Kordonowy then came at the victim, put his hands on them, and took their phone away, saying he would not let the victim call the police. The two argued over the phone and the victim stated they were going to leave. At this point, Kordonowy reportedly punched the victim in the head. The victim became dazed and fell to the floor. Kordonowy followed and put his hands around the victim’s neck so the victim could not breathe, and continued to do so until the victim lost consciousness.
When the victim regained consciousness, they gathered their effects and left the residence. The victim stated they had nowhere to go that night but was too afraid of Kordonowy to go home.
The deputy asked about a previous incident between the victim and Kordonowy. The victim stated they fled Rapid City to avoid charges from an incident and that Kordonowy is known to run from charges. The deputy then asked about the marks, redness and bruising he observed on the victim. The victim stated the scratches and redness were from the current incident but the bruises were from an incident that happened a few days earlier.
While the deputy spoke with the victim, Murray County deputies located Kordonowy walking down a street in Avoca. He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. The deputies asked if Kordonowy had gotten into a fight with the victim that day. He said no.
At that point, an associate of Kordonowy’s drove up with the intent to return a phone to Kordonowy, saying he had left it at her place. Kordonowy stated the phone belonged to the victim.
When asked about the marks on the victim, Kordonowy said he hadn’t made them and was at someone else’s residence at the time. Kordonowy stated the victim was always falling, and the marks were likely the result of that.
Kordonowy was arrested for domestic assault and transported to the Murray County Sheriff’s office. He continued to insist he was at someone else's residence at the time the victim was assaulted.
The deputy spoke with the couple who had been with the victim and Kordonowy in Worthington that day and learned they had returned home about 2 p.m. They said they did not see the victim and Kordonowy arguing. Kordonowy had arrived at their home around 4:30 p.m. looking for the victim. He had been drinking and had the victim’s cell phone. He did not say he and the victim were in a fight. When Kordonowy left, the couple noticed he had left the victim's cell phone, and one of them went to return it, but gave it to the deputies who were there.
Kordonowy was later transported to the Lyon County Jail, where he was booked and held for court. His initial appearance is scheduled for Feb. 15 and bail was set at $75,000, with conditions.
If convicted, Kordonowy faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a $35,000 fine on the aggravated robbery charge. The third-degree assault charge and the tampering with witness charge both carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. Kordonowy also faces a potential maximum sentence of one year in prison and/or a $3,000 fine for the charge of intentionally preventing or hindering another person from placing an emergency call.