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Judge Upholds Rapid City Man’s Conviction, Death Sentence

Lethal Injection (FILE)
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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a judge has upheld the conviction and death sentence of Charles Russell Rhines for the 1992 slaying of a man during a burglary of a Rapid City doughnut shop.

Rhines was convicted in 1993 of the stabbing death of 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer. Authorities contend that Schaeffer, a part-time employee at the doughnut shop, surprised Rhines during the burglary.

The South Dakota Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Rhines’ conviction in 1996, but Rhines then filed secondary appeals.

Jackley says Circuit Judge Thomas Trimble’s decision to uphold Rhines’ conviction and sentence is an important step toward holding Rhines accountable for his actions. But he said the decision still can be reviewed by the South Dakota Supreme Court and federal courts.

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