Pine Ridge Man Gets 10 Years For Killing Younger Brother

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Rapid City man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison with 3 years suspended for stabbing his younger brother to death in March of last year.

54-year old James Ladeaux had pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of 2nd-degree manslaughter in a plea deal that saw prosecutor drop the original charge of 1st-degree murder and 2 counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement.

Prosecutor Lara Roetzel told Judge Jane Pfeifle that Ladeaux had stabbed his brother Fred during a fight after both had been drinking heavily. Ladeaux was found by police shortly after the stabbing, crying and sitting next to his brother with a bottle of vodka and a knife.

Ladeaux’s mother, youngest brother, and a niece all testified, telling how drugs and alcohol ruined the lives of both men.

Ladeaux himself addressed the judge, saying drugs and alcohol had “destroyed his life,” misses his brother, and that every day is a struggle for him. He also said Fred had been talking the night he died about “quitting drinking and getting a job so they didn’t have to walk around all night.”

Judge Pfeifle described the case as very challenging case and shows what happens when people use drugs and alcohol and carry a weapon. Pfeifle also said that in her 4 years on the bench she’d never seen anyone take full responsibility for their actions in the way Ladeaux has.

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