The Rapid City man and woman accused of carrying out a deadly shooting on the northeastern side of town last week made their initial court appearances Tuesday, days after being arrested on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The alleged shooter, 21-year-old Maricelo Garcia, was the first to be called among the 55 defendants scheduled to appear that morning before 7th Circuit Magistrate Judge Todd Hyronimus.
Through a video linkup with the Pennington County Jail, where he is detained, Garcia was informed he is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of 20-year-old Clinton Farlee on Oct. 4. The crime, he was told, is punishable by death or life in prison.
The judge granted the prosecution’s request to keep in place the no-bond condition of Garcia’s detention.
Pennington County Deputy State’s Attorney Wayne Venhuizen underscored the severity of Garcia’s charge, his being a danger to the community and a flight risk, as well as the weight of the evidence against him.
Garcia “said he was gonna shoot the victim,” Venhuizen told the court. “He came back and shot him.”
Rapid City police said Farlee was struck once in the chest and died at a hospital that evening. He and Garcia reportedly knew each other.
His death is the seventh homicide in Rapid City this year, according to information from law enforcement and the courts.
Farlee’s shooting at his home in the 600 block of East Boulevard North was preceded by an argument, according to police reports. Two days earlier, Garcia allegedly showed up at the house, argued with Farlee, then threatened to come back, rob and shoot him.
Garcia didn’t say much except to confirm he understood the charge he was facing and its corresponding penalties. The court was told he is being represented by the county Public Defender’s Office.
About an hour and a half later, his co-defendant, 19-year-old Cierra Walks, appeared on the courtroom TV screens. Unlike in her mug shot released by police last week, she wore glasses and her hair fell to the middle of her torso.
Walks is charged with being an accessory to a crime for allegedly helping Garcia evade authorities. The offense carries a prison sentence of up to five years.
After Farlee’s shooting, the police reports stated that Garcia and Walks left the scene in an SUV driven by Walks. They were found two days later, on Friday, “hiding in the rugged terrain” southeast of the Pine Ridge reservation community of Porcupine, according to the Rapid City Police Department.
A defense lawyer who assisted Walks at the Tuesday hearing asked the judge for a $5,000 cash or surety bond, saying she had a minimal criminal history and needed to take care of her child.
Hyronimus decided to similarly retain her no-bond status in accordance with Venhuizen’s request.
The court ordered Garcia and Walks not to have any contact with Farlee’s girlfriend, who is pregnant. The 19-year-old woman reportedly witnessed the shooting and the arguments that preceded it.
Farlee will be buried in Dupree on Thursday, following an 11 a.m. service at the Dupree school gym, according to the Kesling Funeral Home in Mobridge. A prayer service will also be held at the school gym at 6:30 p.m. today.
Farlee was born in Rapid City, grew up on the Farlee Ranch south of Dupree and graduated from Dupree High School in 2015, states his obituary on the funeral home website.
It said he participated in spelling bees, football and basketball, and traveled to Germany and Austria as part of school camps. He had recently worked at Apex Custom Surfaces in Rapid City, doing cement work.
“He always enjoyed being outside hunting, fishing, camping, and working cattle on the family ranch … like his father, had a huge passion for playing pool,” the obituary reads. “Clinton will forever be remembered for his kind heart and loving ways.”
He was described as having big dreams for himself and was looking forward to the birth of his son in December.