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DAPL DNA suspect misses preliminary hearing

DAPL DNA suspect misses preliminary hearing

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A South Dakota man authorities say is linked through DNA evidence on a cigarette butt to a 2016 Dakota Access Pipeline riot site did not show up for his preliminary hearing in Bismarck on Thursday, prompting a judge to order the case to be continued at a later date.

Lawrence Malcolm Jr., of Sisseton, S.D., was unable to be at the hearing because he had car problems and couldn’t make other transportation arrangements, said his attorney, Bruce Nestor of Minneapolis.

South Central District Judge Gail Hagerty told Nestor she was at work until 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday and he “could have been in touch sooner.” Nestor requested that the hearing be held, but Hagerty said she wouldn’t proceed without Malcolm in the courtroom. A new hearing will be set when court administrators find an open date, the judge said.

Malcolm is charged with felony conspiracy to commit criminal mischief and misdemeanor conspiracy of engaging in a riot. Nestor has argued that it’s impossible to determine where the cigarette butt originated or how long it might have been there.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com

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