One of the four people charged in connection with a fatal shooting in April at a Rapid City motel has reached a plea deal with prosecutors.
33-year old Tracy Laughlin of Rapid City pleaded guilty Friday morning to being an accessory to a crime. She had faced charges of aiding and abetting both kidnapping and 1st-degree assault.
Laughlin also pleaded guilty to a pair of unrelated forgery charges and faces up to 5 years in prison on each of the 3 counts.
In her factual basis statement, Laughlin admits to helping William Long, Gilbert Reyna and Travis Nelson after the incident that left Jesus Vance shot dead.
Long, Reyna, Nelson and Vance had attacked and tried to kidnap Jake Williams, but Williams fought back and was able to shoot and kill Vance.
The 4 defendants were charged with murder under South Dakota’s felony murder law, which allows all participants in a crime to be charged if a death occurs during that crime.
Vance’s death occurred during the commission of a crime – kidnapping and assault – but the judge dismissed the murder charges last week since it was Williams who killed Vance.
Long, Reyna and Nelson are still charged with aiding and abetting second degree kidnapping and aiding and abetting aggravated assault.