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"Rodeo Leader" pleads guilty in 3rd DUI offense

Monte Melvin, a prominent South Dakota rancher, horseman and a former rodeo cowboy, pleaded guilty this week in Pierre to a third offense drunk driving charge that could put him behind bars.

Melvin, 64, told state Judge John Brown that he has a ranch near Hermosa in the Black Hills and also one near Pierre to which he regularly commutes. 

He was arrested June 7 in Pierre on suspicion of drunk driving.

Judge Brown told Melvin it normally would be a misdemeanor charge.

But because Melvin was convicted of two previous DUI offenses in recent years —  in September 2010, and in Custer County in April 2012 —  Hughes County State’s Attorney Wendy Kloeppner charged him with being a habitual offender. That would make his sentence for the June charge equivalent to a Class 6 felony with a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

Melvin is known as a horse breeder, a former bullrider and rodeo leader in the state. 

He was the first bull riding champion and All-Around cowboy champ in the PRCA’s Badlands Circuit as well as the first president of the circuit, according to news reports.

Read the full story here: http://www.capjournal.com/news/well-known-sd-horseman-pleads-guilty-in-rd-dui-offense/article_467f4f5e-e16c-11e7-b707-c72b50ca8ad5.html