Chief prosecutor closes out last day with no regrets - KOTA Territory News

Chief prosecutor closes out last day with no regrets


Friday marked the last official day in office for a man who has led a team of prosecutors for 16 years, through close to 100 murder cases and countless criminal convictions in Pennington County.

Starting next week, Glenn Brenner begins his new job as a probate lawyer at a Dallas, Texas law firm. "In some respect, I still get to wear the cape and work for the right side of the issue," Brenner said. 

It'll be a change from criminal law, a passion that shaped Brenner's career. But he says no case was as life-changing as the abuse and murder of a six-year-old boy in 2000. "I felt like it was a real cause for this little boy named Barrett Jolly."

The case didn't meet the qualifications for the death penalty but Brenner led the charge convicting Barrett's father, Jon Jolley, putting him away for life. "Fortunately, Jon Jolley is in a place where he can't hurt anybody else ever again."

For Brenner, only one other case in his tenure was horrific enough to warrant the death penalty: the state versus Michael Young, the 2011 stabbing death of a young mother in the Rapid City Walmart parking lot. "That case, I would have like to have seen to the end. Not only was her life tragically taken but an unborn child as well."

The case hasn't gone to trial yet. So, Brenner leaves office never having tried a capital murder case but with the satisfaction that he came face to face with the worst of the worst.

"Over the last 16 years, we've prosecuted close to 100 homicides," Brenner said. 

It's a bittersweet departure. "Leaving the people is the hardest thing because we've been a family for so long."

But he walks out the door with no regrets, doing a job he loved. "I got to do this job for longer than I ever imagined that I would want to or get to."

Brenner lost his bid for re-election in November to Mark Vargo. Vargo is sworn into office on Monday.

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