Monday, December 08, 2003

Congressman Convicted of Manslaughter & Resigns His Seat

FLANDREAU, S.D. (AP) -- In a verdict that could bring an abrupt end to a three-decade political career, a jury convicted Rep. Bill Janklow of manslaughter Monday for a collision that killed a motorcyclist, rejecting the congressman's claim that he was disoriented by a diabetic reaction.

The jury in Janklow's boyhood hometown deliberated for about five hours before returning its verdict.

Janklow, 64, was convicted of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, running a stop sign and speeding for the Aug. 16 crash that killed Randy Scott, 55, a farmer from Hardwick, Minn. Prosecutors said Janklow was traveling more than 70 mph in his white Cadillac when he crashed with Scott's Harley-Davidson.

Janklow could get up to 10 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and also face a House ethics committee investigation that could lead to his expulsion.