Kenneth man sentenced for damaging Exchange State Bank in Ellsworth
WORTHINGTON — A Kenneth man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Nobles County District Court to causing damage to the Exchange State Bank in Ellsworth in late September.
Shane Conklin, 21, received a stay of execution of 90 days imprisonment and one year of probation, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $218.75 for damage he caused to the bank’s glass door of the 24-hour access area. A felony second-degree burglary of a building containing a bank — use of force charge was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
During his plea hearing and sentencing Tuesday, Conklin said he did not have much recollection of the early hours of the late September day from which the charges stem. He remembered being at a concert in Sioux Falls, S.D. the night before, during which he had consumed an amount of alcohol significant enough to cause him to black out.
His next recollection of the early morning hours the next day was going up to occupied vehicles and houses in Ellsworth to look for shelter from the cold, he said.
It was a Nobles County Sheriff’s Office deputy, responding to a reported attempted burglary and damage of the Exchange State Bank, from whom Conklin lastly sought shelter from the cold.
“I thought, ‘Hey,’ a cop will help me no matter what,’” Conklin recalled of his thought process that morning.
With a preliminary breath test of .116 percent blood alcohol content and surveillance video showing Conklin kicking the glass doors of the bank’s 24-hour access area, Conklin was taken into custody.
Based on the investigation, Conklin was seemingly given a ride by a friend to Ellsworth, where he had planned on staying the night. According to the complaint, Conklin decided not to stay and planned on walking the nearly 20 miles back to Kenneth, but became cold shortly after leaving his friend’s home.
Fifth Judicial District Judge Gordon Moore accepted Conklin’s plea said he did not think Conklin, in his state, was capable of intending to burglarize or cause damage to the bank.
“You’re fortunate that you didn’t walk into a field and not wake up, quite frankly,” Moore added. “This needs to be a wake-up call.”