Rapid City Woman Convicted On Lesser Charge In Stabbing Death Of Boyfriend


     It took a Pennington County jury in Rapid City less than a day of deliberation to convict a Rapid City woman of 1st-degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of her common-law husband in June of last year. 

       Ashley Peltier was charged with 2nd-degree murder in the death of James Rice, but 1st-degree manslaughter is what’s called a “lesser included” crime that a jury could choose as an alternative. Both carry a maximum of life in prison. 

      Peltier was accused of stabbing Rice once in the heart as they argued June 9, 2019, in their apartment. He died the next day.

       Court records showed that Peltier told investigators she’d stabbed rice to make a point, but backed off the statement when testifying at her trial – explaining that what she meant was “you keep coming at me aggressively, I’m going to fight back.”

       In her testimony, Peltier said she and Rice had met at a meth house, began a romantic relationship a few months later that produced 2 children and led them to get and stay sober the last 4 years.

       She admitted they had good days and bad days and that their arguments turned physical once or twice a year. One of those led to Rice being convicted of domestic assault relatively early in their relationship.