PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Bond has been set at $100,000 cash for a Fort Pierre man charged in an incident yesterday in which a rifle was discharged at least three times inside and near a Fort Pierre apartment building. 39-year-old Ronald L. Berens, Jr. made an initial appearance this afternoon on charges of Attempted First Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault, Discharge of a Firearm at an Occupied Structure, Commission of a Felony While Armed with a Firearm and Reckless Discharge of a Firearm. Berens appeared from the Hughes County Jail before Judge Leo Disburg via an interactive television hookup with the courthouse. He was arrested yesterday outside an apartment at 212 East Wandel Avenue-where authorities responded to reports of shots being fired. Stanley County States Attorney Tom P. Maher said the case against Berens is a serious one, involving the shooting of a gun following a domestic argument. When discussing bond, Maher told the judge that Berens had been intoxicated at the time he argued with the woman who is the alleged victim in the case. Maher stated that Berens went to a bedroom in the apartment after the argument, and the woman heard the sounds of a rifle being loaded. She reportedly went into the room and a struggle ensued on the floor in the room. Maher said the woman then ran away and Berens pursued her. He reportedly shot the rifle once through the front door of the apartment, and two more shots were fired outside. The woman sought refuge under a vehicle and law enforcers who were nearby were able to get to the scene quickly and apprehended Berens without incident. Maher stated that one of the shots hit a child’s bedroom in a nearby house and the other went onto fairgrounds property-near the apartment. He recommended $100,000 cash bond-saying that Berens was intoxicated at the time of the crime and violence resulted. Maher said Berens’ criminal record showed a DUI-3rd in Pennington County in 2008, but no other crimes like the nature of what he is charged with now. When Judge Disburg asked Berens for his input on bond, Berens comment was “I have nothing to say”. Disburg accepted Maher’s recommendation and set bond at $100,000 cash. He will next appear in circuit court on May 8 at 10:00 a.m.
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