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Bismarck man sentenced for striking pregnant woman with vehicle

BISMARCK -- A 24-year-old Bismarck man was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for striking a pregnant woman, breaking her ankle, with his vehicle in April.

BISMARCK -- A 24-year-old Bismarck man was sentenced Wednesday to six years in prison for striking a pregnant woman, breaking her ankle,  with his vehicle in April.

The case against Lyal Decent was scheduled to go to trial Tuesday, but was resolved at the last minute in a plea deal.

The attempted murder charge against him was dropped in exchange for his acceptance of three felony charges: reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and duty upon striking a person.

South Central District Judge James Hill accepted the deal after silently reading a statement submitted by the victim during the hearing.

Hill said the statement showed him she "suffered greatly" from the experience, but was OK with the resolution.

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According to an affidavit signed by Rebecca Kopp, a detective in the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department, Decent drove his vehicle into the victim, whom he knew to be pregnant. He told authorities he drove toward her in an attempt to scare her and left the scene, just outside Lincoln, without rendering aid. He had been in a relationship with the woman.

In an interview Wednesday, Kopp said the victim was diagnosed with an incomplete miscarriage at the hospital. The woman eventually lost the baby, but authorities were unable to show that was caused by the accident.

Bismarck Tribune

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