Plea Deal Reached In Sturgis Teen Murder Case


STURGIS, S.D. (AP) – A change-of-plea hearing has been scheduled this Thursday for a Sturgis teen charged with killing a teenage Wyoming girl last October in his home.

Michael Campbell, charged as an adult despite being 17, originally pleaded Not Guilty and Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity to alternate counts of 1st-and- 2nd-degree murder in the death of 16-year old Shayna Ritthaler of Moorcroft.

The Meade County State’s Attorney’s Office told the Rapid City Journal that the two sides have reached a plea agreement that calls for Campbell to plead guilty to manslaughter with both sides asking the judge for a 55-year sentence. The judge does not have to accept the recommendation.

Ritthaler was reported missing last October 3, but with Moorcroft police believing she’d left voluntarily with a young South Dakota man. Her body was found 11 days later in the basement of the home Campbell shared with his mother. Prosecutors say he shot Ritthaler after an argument.