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Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Christmas Eve Murder in Rapid City

PIERRE, S.D. – Elias Richard was sentenced Monday to life in the South Dakota State Penitentiary for  killing Vernall Marshall on Christmas Eve in 2020. Richard, 23, was convicted of Second Degree Murder  by a Pennington County jury in July following a four-day trial. 

On December 24, 2020, Richard met Marshall in Rapid City, S.D., on the pretext of selling him drugs.  The purported drug transaction devolved into an altercation during which Richard shot Marshall twice  with a .25 caliber handgun, killing Marshall. 

“Elias Richard will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole,” said Assistant  Attorney General Trevor Thielen who prosecuted the case for the State in Presiding Judge Craig Pfeifle’s  Seventh Circuit Court in Rapid City. “He won’t have the chance to inflict any additional violence in our  communities.” 

The Attorney General’s Office would like to thank the lead investigator, Rapid City Police Department  Sgt. Barry Young, for help in investigating and prosecuting this crime and the victim’s family for their  strength through the process.

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