Trial set for in slaying of brother, pregnant sister-in-law

MILBANK, S.D. (AP) — A Milbank man will face trial this summer on charges of killing his brother and pregnant sister-in-law.

Brent Hanson, 57, appeared court Tuesday where Third Judicial Circuit Judge Dawn Elshere set a jury trial to begin Aug. 11.

According to police, Hanson hit his brother, Clyde Hanson, in the head with a baseball bat Dec. 12 at a residential property they both owned, but where they lived in separate spaces.

Jessica Hanson, who was nine months pregnant, returned home the following morning and the defendant struck her in the head with a machete, according to court documents.

The couple’s bodies were found Dec. 15 after police were called to do a welfare check. Officers say they found Jessica’s body under a blue tarp and Clyde’s body behind sheetrock in an unfinished portion of the home. Their 3-year-old child was found sleeping and unharmed.

Brent Hanson was arrested a short time later. A grand jury has indicted him on three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. He’s jailed on $5 million bond.

According to court documents, Hanson told police he “just snapped.”

Brent Hanson had a previous scuffle with the couple in July when he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault and domestic violence. Hanson allegedly pushed around the couple after an argument over the care of Jessica Hanson’s dog.