April 21, 2004
Grand Jury indicts Heden on murder
by April Scheinoha
A grand jury has indicted an Oklee man accused of killing his infant daughter.
John Russell Heden, 32, was indicted Monday on charges of first degree murder (felony murder, criminal sexual conduct), first degree murder (child abuse), and second degree murder (felony murder). The two charges of first degree murder carry maximum penalties of life imprisonment. The second degree murder charge has a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.
Last week, a grand jury convened in the case. The grand jury heard evidence in Pennington County District Court and determined that probable cause existed to charge Heden.
Heden appeared in court Monday in handcuffs and shackles. Judge Dennis Murphy unsealed and read the indictments into the public record.
Kristin Hanson of the public defender's office is representing Heden. Hanson asked for and was granted a continuance of an omnibus hearing, a court procedure during which a judge considers many matters in a criminal case. Those issues include the legality of procedures followed in an arrest or prosecution. Hanson asked for the continuance until Heden can undergo a psychological examination. Heden is expected to have that examination this week. A date has not been set for the omnibus hearing.
If the case goes to trial, Assistant Pennington County Attorney Al Rogalla expected it would occur this summer at the earliest.
Heden was taken into custody March 1 and remains incarcerated at the Pennington County Jail. Bail remains set at $100,000 cash or $1 million surety. The criminal complaint alleges that Heden admitted to shaking his infant daughter and inappropriately touching her.
Heden was arrested after the Pennington County Sheriff's Department received a 911 call from Heden's Highlanding Township residence. According to the department, Heden said his infant daughter had a bloody nose and was not breathing. Heden's 3-month-old daughter, Rose Marie Heden, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Heden has a 1997 conviction for third degree criminal sexual conduct in Goodridge. He was convicted of having sex with a juvenile female, who was between the ages of 13 and 16, according to Pennington County court documents. A stay of imposition was granted for that misdemeanor offense, and Heden served two years of supervised probation.
Grand Jury indicts Heden
* First degree murder (felony murder, criminal sexual conduct;
* First degree murder (child abuse)
* Second degree murder (felony murder)
The two charges of first degree murder carry maximum penalties of life imprisonment. The second degree murder charge has a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.
The earliest the case would go to trial would be sometime this summer.