30-year-old man gets 45 years in Rapid City manslaughter case - KOTA Territory News

30-year-old man gets 45 years in Rapid City manslaughter case

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Eustacio Maruffo Eustacio Maruffo

Monday was judgement day for a man convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the death of another man at a Rapid City motel.

Seventh Circuit Judge Wally Eklund sentenced 30-year-old Charles Birds Head to 45 years in prison for shooting and killing Eustacio Maruffo at the South Dakota Rose Inn last January.  

The sentence includes; 25 years for distribution of a controlled substance to a minor, five years for possession of cocaine and two years for possession of a weapon.

While the focus of the trial in August was about Birds Head's recent history with drugs, guns and an underage girl, Friday morning, his family had a chance to paint a different picture of the man they call "Chuck."

His mother, Karen Testerman described her son as a devout and loving father, and a spiritual man who had become addicted to drugs.  She asked Judge Eklund for leniency and told Eustacio Maruffo's mother that she cries for her.  She called it a tragedy for both families.

"My son's heart is going to always carry Eustacio in it.  This isn't over, his life isn't over.  And when he comes out, he's going to be stronger man for it.  He made poor choices and it is what it is," said Testerman.

On behalf of Eustacio Marrufo's family, Ramon Marrufo, Eustacio's brother said, "The family will continue to mourn the loss of our loved one, however, today's decision will definitely provide us with some closure. The past year has undoubtedly been a life changing experience for both families as the children of two young men will be deprived of their fathers. There are no victories to be won when ultimately, the children are the primary victims."

Birds Head will be eligible for parole after serving 65 percent of his sentence.

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