South Dakota Rose Inn death suspect charged with manslaughter - KOTA Territory News

South Dakota Rose Inn death suspect charged with manslaughter



A 30-year-old man is charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of use of a firearm in commission of a felony after allegedly shooting another man at a Rapid City motel last Monday.

After a week-long search and numerous tips from the public, Monday night police arrested Charles Birdshead, wanted for questioning in the murder of Eustacio Murrufo at the South Dakota Rose Inn on Jan. 7.
Police say they've had their eye on the suspect since last week. They even tried to arrest him on Friday based on a tip.

But law enforcement officers say Birdshead was not where the caller said he would be.

When police finally did track him down Monday night, he gave himself up without incident.

After questioning him about the murder of Eustacio Murrufo on Jan. 7, police arrested him for second-degree murder.

"I had never heard of him until the night of the incident," said Police Lt. Tom Senesac. "We might have had contact with him, but nothing significant."

Police also tacked on several other crimes; some, like a fourth-degree rape (commonly called statutory rape) charge and supplying a controlled substance to a minor, are unrelated to the killing, but police learned of the alleged crimes while looking into the shooting.

"During the investigation," Senesac said, "we're interviewing people in reference to the shooting, we're told about other things. And some of those things were not legal."

One of the other charges stemmed from the weapon he allegedly used in the crime, which police say was modified to be shorter than legally allowed.
At his initial court hearing Tuesday morning, Pennington County state's attorney Mark Vargo charged Birdshead with two alternative counts of first-degree manslaughter, not murder, and the use of a firearm in commission of a felony, based on the evidence available at the time.

Birdshead faces maximum penalties of a life sentence for each manslaughter charge, and 25 years for the weapons charge.

Vargo did not file charges on the rape or controlled substance charges, because he didn't have enough information.

"We thought it wise to wait until we had a better factual understanding of exactly when and where those are alleged to have occurred before we make formal charges, if we make formal charges," Vargo said.

Other charges may come later, based on how the investigation goes.

Birdshead will face either a preliminary hearing with a judge or a grand jury hearing within the next ten days.

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