Norfolkan charged with arson

November 24, 2018

A 47-year-old Norfolkan has been charged with arson in connection with the burning of a car found on the Santee Sioux reservation earlier this month.

U.S. Attorney Joe Kelly said Joseph Lloyd James was arrested Nov. 19 as part of an investigation into the death of 59-year-old Phyllis Hunhoff of Yankton. Kelly said the charge alleges James set fire to Hunhoff’s car on or around Nov. 5.

Hunhoff was last seen leaving her mother’s house in southeastern South Dakota on Nov. 4. Her body was found three days later. Her death was ruled a homicide. No one has yet been charged with killing her.

James made his initial court appearance Wednesday and requested a public defender. He’s due back in court for a preliminary hearing and detention hearing Dec. 5.

The maximum punishment for the offense is 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This case is being investigated by the FBI, the Nebraska State Patrol, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the Santee Sioux Nation Police Department, the Lincoln Police Department, the Nebraska state fire marshal, the Norfolk Police Division, the Niobrara Police Department and the Yankton County Sheriff’s Office.

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