Sioux Falls Man Charged with 1st Degree Murder for the Death of Deputy Ken Prorok

40-year old Sioux Falls resident Joseph Gene Hoek made his initial appearance Monday morning in the Moody County Courthouse. Hoek was arrested in connection with an incident that led to the death of Moody County Chief Deputy Sheriff Ken Prorok. Hoek appeared with his court appointed attorney Manny Decastro. Hoek spoke only to answer questions from Magistrate Judge Bob Pesall. 

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley read the charges against Hoek, which included 1st Degree Murder, and Aggravated Eluding. 

According to an Affidavit and Application for Determination of Probable Cause, on February 2nd, at approximately 3:49 pm, Officers with the Madison Police Department responded to a call for service of a male making “homicidal threats” near a business where the reporting party was working. Officers were advised that Hoek had left the business, driving a black Pontiac Grand Prix.

At Approximately 3:59pm, Officers located Hoek in that vehicle at a gas station near the intersection of Hwy 34 and Washington Avenue. Officers activated emergency lights and sirens to conduct a traffic stop, at which time the vehicle continued around the gas station failing to stop. Hoek stopped his vehicle for approximately 10 seconds, and was given verbal commands to exit the vehicle. Hoek then fled the parking lot at a high rate of speed, and traveled east on Highway 34 toward I-29. 

Officers pursued the vehicle, which was observed traveling at times up to 115 MPH. During this time, Moody County Chief Deputy Sheriff Ken Prorok informed pursuing officers that he was positioned on Highway 34 near 472nd Avenue and positioned to deploy a tire deflation device. 

A witness, Tyler Kills A hundred of Flandreau, stated that he was traveling East on the Highway and observed the Deputy’s patrol vehicle parked with its lights flashing. Kills A Hundred was waived on to safety by Deputy Prorok. Kills A Hundred then observed from behind as Prorok deployed spike strips across the road. He then saw the vehicle swerve and strike the Chief Deputy, who was positioned on the south side of the road, on or near the grass line and moving away from the highway. 

The Grand Prix went into the south ditch and flipped, and Hoek started running from the vehicle. Kills A Hundred went back to the Deputy and attempted to render aid. He then went back to his car and followed Hoek on foot, ran him down and detained him until officers were able to arrive, at approximately 4:10pm. Deputy Prorok was declared deceased on the scene. 

South Dakota DCI Special Agent Jeffrey Kollars, arrived on the scene at approximately 5pm. He observed an unopened bottle of liquor and an apparent marijuana bong on the ground outside of the Grand Prix. 

Judge Pesall ordered that Hoek be held without bond, in the Lake County Jail. 

1st Degree Murder is a Class A Felony, punishable by life in prison or the Death Penalty. Hoek is next due in court for a preliminary hearing on February 9th, at 11:00am.