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Appeals court upholds inmate’s conviction, death sentence

August 3, 2018

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the conviction and death sentence of a man who killed a South Dakota doughnut shop employee in 1992.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said Friday that the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling affirms Charles Rhines’ death sentence and murder conviction are “appropriate and constitutional.” Jackley’s office says Rhines could ask for reconsideration or request that the U.S. Supreme Court weigh his appeal.

Rhines was convicted in the stabbing death of 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer while Rhines burglarized a Rapid City doughnut shop in March 1992. A jury convicted Rhines in 1993, and the state Supreme Court affirmed his sentence and conviction in 1996.

Rhines has also sought to overturn his sentence and conviction in federal and state habeas corpus proceedings.

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