Attorney General Mark Vargo announces
a first-degree manslaughter conviction in Pennington County
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 9, 2022
CONTACT: Stewart Huntington, 605-773-6878
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Mark Vargo has announced that Ashley Peltier was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for the June 8, 2021, stabbing death of her boyfriend, Stanley Kennard III, a.k.a., James Rice.
Peltier was found guilty by a Pennington County jury on Nov. 30, 2022.
“Cases like this one deal with complex family dynamics,” said Deputy Attorney General Brent Kempema who assisted the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office with the prosecution. “I commend the jury for its ability to sift through those dynamics and apply the evidence it heard to the law. It was clear throughout the trial that the jury took its civic duty very seriously and ultimately came to a just decision.”
Deputy Pennington County State’s Attorney Anna Lindrooth agreed. “This verdict provided a step towards justice for Stanley Kennard, and the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office is proud of the work that we did in this case for Stanley and for his family,” she said.
Attorney General Vargo noted that efficient multi-agency cooperation helped prosecutors build – and win – the case. The Rapid City Police Department, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Division of Criminal Investigation Forensic Laboratory, the Attorney General’s Office and prosecutors and Victim’s Advocates from the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office all contributed to the effort. “Working together smoothly across agencies and disciplines is one important way we can maximize our efforts for all South Dakotans,” said Vargo.