Man accused in Pine Ridge slaying expected to plead guilty
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — One of four men accused in the 2016 fatal shooting of a man on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is expected to plead guilty to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.
Myles Tuttle plans to plead guilty to being an accessory after the fact in the slaying of 29-year-old Vincent Brewer III, the Rapid City Journal reported. In exchange, prosecutors would drop three other charges against Tuttle, including charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit assault, and would recommend a sentence of no more than 10 years in prison.
According to prosecutors, Brewer was killed while the defendants were trying to kidnap him to collect on a drug debt. The other defendants — Francisco Villanueva, Adan Corona and Estevan Baquera — drove from Colorado to Rapid City, where they met with Tuttle. The group then drove to the reservation and eventually found Brewer at the youth center. Some of the defendants then assaulted Brewer and tried to shove him into one of their two vehicles. After Brewer tried to escape from a vehicle, he was shot by “multiple shooters,” authorities allege, naming Villanueva and Corona as two of them.
Prosecutors allege that Tuttle helped the others evade justice by swapping the license plate on a vehicle used in the crime and dumping it in Whiteclay, Nebraska.
The other three defendants face charges of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit assault.
A fifth defendant, Tiffanee Garnier, was sentenced last year after pleading guilty to driving a getaway car in the fatal shooting.
Prosecutors charged a new defendant, Jason Baca, with attempted witness tampering last month. He’s accused of trying to intimidate Garnier into not testifying about the slaying. Baca’s hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com