Plea Bargain In Unusual Rapid City Homicide Case


    One of 4 people originally charged with murder in unusual fatal shooting at a Rapid City motel in April of last year has accepted a plea bargain.

     56-year old William Long has pled guilty to one count of aiding and abetting aggravated assault with prosecutors dropping a charge of aiding and abetting 2nd degree kidnapping. 

     Long faces up to 15-years in prison when he’s sentenced July 1st. The plea deal includes a recommendation by prosecutors of 7-1/2 years but the judge isn’t required to accept it.

      Long, Travis Nelson, Tracy Laughlin and Gilbert Reyna were originally charged with murder in the death of Jesus Vance, allowed under South Dakota’s felony murder law when a death occurs during the commission of a crime.

      The judge threw out that charge, though, because the defendants and Vance had attacked and assaulted Jake Williams in an effort to collect a drug debt and Williams was the one who shot and killed Vance – an action that was ruled self-defense.

       Assault and kidnapping charges remained against Long, Nelson, Laughlin, and Reyna while no charges were brought against Willaims.