Aberdeen man to be sent to mental health hospital instead of prison

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — An Aberdeen man who was shot twice by a police officer in 2016 and convicted in March of felony aggravated assault and drug possession has been sent to a mental health hospital rather than prison.

The American News reports two mental health evaluations supported the insanity defense of 24-year-old Ehkhu Poe.

Authorities say Officer Ty Reinke shot Poe in the chest and arm after Poe threatened family members and charged the officer with a knife in August 2016. A state investigation determined that Reinke was justified in shooting Poe.

Poe pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. His conviction could have sent him to prison for up to 30 years. He’ll now be evaluated at the Human Services Center in Yankton to determine if he’s a danger to society. His next court hearing is June 17.