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Trial date set for 18-year-old accused of shooting near fairgrounds

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A Pennington County judge lowered the bond amount for an 18-year-old high school student Thursday who is accused of shooting at three teenagers near the Central States Fairgrounds this summer. 

Presiding Judge Craig Pfeifle adjusted Kasey Arehart's $400,000 cash surety bond to $250,000 at a status hearing in Rapid City. The judge also set Arehart's trial date for March 6-9, 2023, with a pretrial conference scheduled for 9:45 a.m. on Jan. 19, 2023.

In a letter Arehart wrote earlier this month, he begged Pfeifle to drop his bond "to something reasonable and attainable."

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"I nor my family are the most wealthiest [sic] of families, but we can afford something in the range of $8,000 to $500. I am not a flight risk nor a menace to society," he wrote in the letter filed on Nov. 1.

Arehart continued to plead his case for a lower bail in the handwritten letter, stating that he is a senior in high school studying at home online with only four classes left to complete before graduation. He also spoke of his grandmother's battle with cancer and his desire to help her.

Arehart's defense attorney Jason Thomas asked the court on Thursday to lower his client's bond to $10,000 cash and place him on electronic monitoring. The state said nothing in Arehart's case has changed to warrant lowering his bond further, which Magistrate Judge Scott Bogue originally set at $750,000 cash surety in August. 

According to the indictment against Arehart, which charges him with three counts of aggravated assault and one count of discharge of a firearm at a motor vehicle, he shot at a 17-year-old and two 16-year-olds at 11:58 p.m. on Aug. 22 near the intersection of Lacrosse and Centre streets.

Also on Aug. 22, law enforcement responded to reports of a minor on the midway with a gun. The evening prior, deputies at the fairgrounds heard gunshots near the fair. The two incidents prompted the Pennington County Sheriff's Office to increase security and the fairgrounds to close two hours earlier than usual for the remainder of the fair. 

— Contact Shalom Baer Gee at sgee@rapidcityjournal.com — 

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