In a packed courtroom, a Rapid City man is sentenced for 1st-degree manslaughter

Andrew Thorson is sentenced to 70 years in prison, with 15 years suspended.
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 2:20 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The family of a Rapid City man witnessed the defendant receive his sentencing Thursday.

Dhani Aronson was found in a ditch along Highway 16, on November 1, 2021. Andrew Thorson and one other, left Aronson in the ditch after Thorson shot him. At Thursday’s sentencing for Thorson, Aronson’s stepmom, April Akers was one of three people that spoke. In an emotional statement, she said about the investigation: “557 days putting the pieces together.” Thorson was sentenced to 70 years, with 15 years suspended, and he will be eligible for parole when 50% of his sentence is served. Thorson receives credit for the time he has served, which is 555 days.

On April 13, Thorson pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, originally charged with second-degree murder. Judge Wickre found that Thorson did plan the killing of Aronson, it was not an accident, but he lacked remorse for his actions. Judge Wickre said Thorson was more worried about his own consequences than the void he leaves in Aronson’s family.