A circuit court judge has once again upheld the murder sentence and conviction of Charles Russell Rhines. In January of 1993, a Pennington County jury convicted and sentenced Rhines to death for the murder of Donnivan Schaeffer.
After the state and U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction in 1996, Rhines filed for habeas corpus. He filed again in 2002.
But because of a bill passed by the South Dakota legislature restricting appeals - this could be the end.
Attorney General Marty Jackley says the ruling is an important step in holding Rhines accountable for his actions to the Schaeffers and the community.
"The Schaeffer family has waited more than 20 years for justice in their son's case," said Attorney General Jackley.
Rhines' pending petition filed prior to the new senate bill is still reviewable by state and federal courts.