RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Prosecutors say they will not seek the death penalty for two young men accused of killing a 17-year-old in Rapid City in February.
Instead, 19-year-old Cole Waters and 19-year-old Andre Martinez would be sent to life in prison without possibility of parole if they’re found guilty of aiding and abetting the first-degree murder of Emmanuel Hinton.
Attorneys for Waters and Martinez made the announcement during a Tuesday hearing in state court.
Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo says South Dakota’s death penalty can only be used in first-degree murder cases in “very specific situations” where aggravating factors outweigh any mitigating ones.
Waters and Martinez, both from Rapid City, are accused of fatally shooting Hinton, from Box Elder, during a Feb. 26 drug deal in Rapid City.