Yankton Man Given Unique Sentence in Fatal ATV Accident Case

Yankton Man Given Unique Sentence in Fatal ATV Accident Case
Derrik Nelson

HARTINGTON, NE — A Yankton man will spend five symbolic days in jail per year for the next five years as part of his sentencing in a case surrounding a fatal ATV accident.

Court documents say 26-year-old Derrik Nelson was sentenced in Cedar County District Court Monday on charges of motor vehicle homicide and false reporting. He had pleaded no contest to each charge. District Judge Paul Vaughan sentenced Nelson to 180 days in jail and five years probation – with a twist. He must spend his birthday, his victim’s birthday and three days around the victim’s date of death in prison for the duration of his probation. He will serve the first 155 days of the sentence immediately.

The charges relate to an accident from June, 2017. 21-year-old Jessi Anderson was found dead at a rural intersection west of St. Helena and about two miles south of the Missouri River. Authorities determined she had been thrown from an ATV. Investigators say Nelson fabricated details of the incident to them, claiming that Anderson was on an ATV with a college friend. But officials say video evidence shows that Anderson and Nelson were on an ATV together consuming alcohol, and that Nelson was later seen later on the same ATV by himself.

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