(KFYR) The former LaMoure police chief was sentenced on Tuesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole for continuous sexual abuse of a child.

James Watson was charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child in both Golden Valley and Stark counties, as well as gross sexual imposition in Hettinger County during the summer of 2017. Watson entered an Alford plea in March to the charges in Hettinger and Stark counties.

Watson was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for both the Stark and Golden Valley county charges. He was also sentenced to five years for the Hettinger crime. All sentences were to  run concurrent.

In February, a jury in Golden Valley County convicted him of continuous sexual abuse of a child.

Stark County state’s attorney Tom Henning says life with the possibility of parole means serving 30 years, minus time for good behavior before parole is considered.


Dickinson  (WDAY)  In a last second change of opinion late Thursday afternoon, Judge William Herauf, who presided over the case, issued a letter to counsels citing an oversight in his judgement and sentencing.

According to the letter, Herauf expressed the intent of the court to effectively turn the management of Watson’s cases over to the North Dakota Department of Corrections – without restrictions imposed to when they would be able to release him.

While resentencing has not been formally scheduled, the letter said a hearing will be slated for early next week.