A Rapid City man has admitted fatally stabbing a 30-year-old woman at a local motel in March.
Vincent Mousseaux, 24, pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree manslaughter in the killing of his roommate Deziree Martinez. The offense, an unpremeditated killing, carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
According to police, Martinez was found dead at the Price Motel on East North Street, in the morning of March 8. The mother of six was reportedly stabbed 40 times.
Investigators said she, Mousseaux and another man, Hawk Chavez Sr., were all in the motel room the previous night when an argument started. Before fatally stabbing Martinez, Mousseaux allegedly tried to stab Chavez, who was able to flee.
Mousseaux submitted to 7th Circuit Judge Jeff Connonlly a written statement of facts in the case, which lays out details of the crime as bases for his guilty plea. The document was not yet available for public access shortly after the hearing Thursday afternoon.
Mousseaux, who wore the uniform of a segregated jail inmate, had visibly lost weight when he reappeared in court Thursday.
Martinez's killing is the fourth of seven homicides in Rapid City this year. Of the eight defendants, Mousseaux is the third to plead guilty; one was convicted at trial of murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Mousseaux’s guilty plea, at the Pennington County Courthouse, was made as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
His original charges of first-degree murder or second-degree murder in Martinez’s death, as well as aggravated assault against Chavez, will be dismissed under the plea agreement, said county deputy state’s attorney Josh Hendrickson. The same will be done with Mousseaux’s two other pending cases: simple assault on a jail officer and probation violation.
In February, Mousseaux was sentenced to probation and a suspended jail sentence on a Rapid City burglary-related offense. In January, he also received a suspended jail sentence for violating a protection order against a woman, according to court records.
Both the prosecution and defense will make sentencing recommendations when Mousseaux is sentenced by Connolly on Jan. 16, Hendrickson said. The prosecution is free to bring up as aggravating factors Mousseaux’s prior offenses and the charges to be dismissed, Hendrickson said.
Mousseaux is detained at the county jail without bond.