Good Samaritan Witness Testifies Against Man Accused of First Degree Murder in Moody County Chief Deputy’s Death

BROOKINGS COUNTY, South Dakota – The man accused of Murder in the First Degree in the death of Moody County Chief Deputy Sheriff Ken Prorok is set to be arraigned in a court in Brookings County. Joseph Gene Hoek, a 40-year-old resident of Sioux Falls, faced charges before a Grand Jury on Friday. The Grand Jury heard from two witnesses – a law enforcement officer and a Good Samaritan who provided immediate aid to Prorok before apprehending the suspect.

The Good Samaritan, Tyler Kills-A-Hundred of Flandreau, happened to be on the same stretch of highway outside of Colman where Prorok was attempting to stop Hoek in a high-speed chase. Kills-A-Hundred alleges that he saw Hoek intentionally swerve to hit Prorok, resulting in the Chief Deputy Sheriff’s death. The Grand Jury indicted Hoek on charges of First Degree Premeditated Murder and Aggravated Felony Eluding.

At the arraignment, Hoek pleaded Not Guilty. His next hearing is scheduled for March 13th at 11 a.m. in Brookings County. The State will announce on that day whether they will seek the death penalty. Attorney General Marty Jackley stated that investigations into mitigating and aggravating circumstances were ongoing and that input from Sheriff Wellman, the victim’s family, and other parties would be considered.

Following Hoek’s hearing, Moody County Sheriff Troy Wellman, Moody County State’s Attorney Paul Lewis, and others expressed gratitude for the support they had received from law enforcement agencies across the country and state. They emphasized the need to continue their duties and protect the citizens they swore to serve.

Thousands of law enforcement representatives from various levels and locations attended the visitation and funeral services for Prorok. The procession route from Flandreau to Chester and Madison, where the services were held, was lined with people showing their support for Prorok, his family, and the Sheriff’s Department. Attorney General Marty Jackley described the support as impacting and heartwarming.

Hoek, who has a criminal history including domestic violence, stalking, threatening calls, and minor drug offenses, is currently held without bond, as authorities consider him a flight risk and a potential threat to others. His trial is scheduled for March 13th at the Brookings County Courthouse.