Watertown man sentenced to 30 years in prison for pair of kidnappings

January 4, 2024

Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–A Watertown man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of Second Degree Kidnapping.

Twenty five year-old Deven Taylor Burgher was sentenced Wednesday in Codington Circuit Court after agreeing to plead guilty to the kidnapping charges, each involving a different victim. He also pled guilty to two counts of being a habitual offender.

The kidnappings occurred on January 26th and May 19th of last year, both in Codington County.

In the first kidnapping, authorities say Burgher assaulted a woman at a residence in Florence, then forced the woman into his vehicle, leaving the woman’s 18 month-old child unattended at the home. Burgher drove the woman into the country and forced her out of the vehicle in bitterly cold temperatures. He returned a short time later to pick her up before returning to the residence.

The second kidnapping occurred when Burgher was out of jail on bond for the first incident, and involved the use of a weapon.

Burgher was sentenced to 25 years in prison on each kidnapping count with 10 years suspended on each count. The two sentences will be served consecutively.