Jury selection began yesterday in Rapid City in the murder trial of 37-year old Arnson Absolu of New York City, accused of killing 3 people in 2 separate but related incidents in the Rapid City area nearly 2-1/2 years ago.
Judge Robert Gusinksy has set aside a month for the trial in the shooting deaths of 29-year old Ashley Nagy of Greeley, CO, 26-year old Charles Red Willow, and 22-year old Dakota Zaiser, both of Rapid City. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.
Yesterday, potential jurors were asked if they understood that a decision by Absolu not to testify can’t be used by them to conclude he’s guilty. Since the vast majority are white, they were also asked if the fact Absolu is black would be an issue.
The bodies of Red Willow and Nagy were found in a car in the parking lot of a Rapid City park on August 24, 2020. Authorities believe their deaths were drug-related
Absolu became a suspect after a vehicle linked to him turned up in surveillance video near the crime scene. He was arrested in New York City a little over a week later and eventually extradited to Rapid City.
Zaiser was sought by police as a possible witness in the double homicide, but disappeared a few days later.
His body was found in a wooded area near Sheridan Lake about a month after that, but Absolu wasn’t formally charged with his death until last January