Charles Mix authorities searching for attempted arson suspect after bond violations

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Jul. 1—LAKE ANDES — Authorities in Charles Mix County are searching for a suspect charged with attempted arson after a second 24/7 sobriety violation.

Nakita Kay Zephier, 25, of Lake Andes, is accused of attempting to commit arson on May 4, when court documents allege Zephier poured gas on the exterior of a home and was nearby with a lit cigarette.

An affidavit says Zephier was "highly intoxicated" and uncooperative when questioned. She said her friend needed gas, and that "she did not mean" to pour the gas on the house.

Authorities arrested Zephier and charged her with attempted first-degree arson, a Class 4 felony. Her blood alcohol content registered 0.214% at the time of booking. She was released on bond, with mandating participation in the 24/7 sobriety program, among other conditions.

Court documents allege Zephier failed to appear for a test on May 25. A warrant was issued for her arrest, and was returned on June 1. The defendant's lawyer requested a release, and the state gave no objection, citing "3ish days served." She was released at 4 p.m. on June 3.

After failing to appear for another test on June 13, a second warrant was issued, including terms of a $200 cash bond and a 48 hour incarceration.

An email from Judge Bruce Anderson dated June 29 said Zephier's mother indicated that Zephier "is not complying" with the conditions of her release." Judge Anderson amended the warrant to revoke bond conditions.

Charles Mix County Sheriff Randy Thaler said Zephier has not been found and her warrant is still active.

The South Dakota Unified Judicial System did not have a photo of Zephier available.

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