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Number of Possible Death Sentence Cases in S.D. a Rarity

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Currently there are three high profile ongoing murder cases in Southeastern South Dakota.

Ethan John is already facing the death penalty, and prosecutors may also seek the death penalty against Alexander Salgado and Samuel Lint.

KDLT’s Matt Johnson finds out the significance of all three cases occurring at the same time.

 Three young men.Three murders in Southeastern South Dakota.Three possible death sentences that could be handed down.State prosecutors have already said they intend to seek the death penalty against 20 year old Ethan Johns in the shooting of Deputy Chad Mechels.21 year old Alexander Salgado also could face the death penalty in the murder of Jasmine Guevera, and the same fate faces 18 year old Samuel Lint, charged with killing Michael Stevens.

Prosecutors say while homicides are rare in South Dakota..
"We can go a year or so without any homicides," said Minnehaha State's Attorney Aaron McGowan.

It's almost unheard of to see three possible death sentence cases occurring at the same time in the same area of the state.

"I can't think of a time where there were multiple in the same area where there was that potential," said McGowan.

As of now, there are two people on death row in South Dakota.

"Fortunately we live in a community where it's unusual to have any type of homicide, so we enjoy the low crime rates in South Dakota and fortunately, it's still unusual when we have a homicide or several pending homicides in the state," said McGowan.

None of the three cases have been decided, but the possibility of the state's death row population growing.. by more than one.. is a real one.

Matt Johnson, KDLT News.


Lint and Salgado have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges.

Johns has not entered a plea.

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