A Rapid City teen accused of killing a convenience store clerk in January has agreed to be tried as an adult. The 17-year-old initially requested that his case be moved to juvenile court.
Carlos Quevedo is charged with alternative counts of first-degree and second-degree murder in the stabbing of 45-year-old Kasie Lord while she was working at the Loaf ‘N Jug on Mount Rushmore Road.
Quevedo is also facing a count of first-degree robbery in a beer theft that police say preceded Lord’s killing and involved another man. A person can be convicted on only one of his alternative charges.
Because Quevedo was a minor when he allegedly committed the crimes, he is entitled to a hearing that would determine if his case can be transferred to juvenile court. In June, his lawyer, Randy Connelly, made the request for a transfer hearing.
At that hearing, at the Pennington County Courthouse on Wednesday morning, Quevedo instead said he had agreed to be tried as an adult. Dressed in a dark blue shirt bearing the initials of the Western South Dakota Juvenile Services Center where he is detained, Quevedo told 7th Circuit Judge Heidi Linngren that he was waiving his right to a transfer hearing.
The waiver also means that under South Dakota law, if he commits another offense before turning 18, he would automatically be tried as an adult on the new offense, Linngren told Quevedo. Quevedo turns 18 in less than a month.
Connelly told the Journal that Quevedo made the decision after they had spent hours discussing the waiver and its consequences.
“He told me he would handle the outcome of this case as an adult,” the defense lawyer said, adding that the factors that went into Quevedo’s decision were personal and private.
The punishments handed down in juvenile court are less severe that those in adult court, with a focus on rehabilitative and remedial options, Connelly earlier said.
When asked to comment on Quevedo’s waiver, the case prosecutor, Pennington County Deputy State’s Attorney Sarah Morrison, said, “I think it was the right decision.”
Quevedo’s charge of first-degree murder is punishable by death or life in prison; second-degree murder, life in prison without parole; and first-degree robbery, up to 25 years in prison.
But under the law, juvenile offenders cannot be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole. This applies even if they’re tried and convicted as adults.
Quevedo is scheduled to return to court Oct. 17.
Meanwhile, his co-defendant, Cody Grady, is set for a two-week trial starting Dec. 4. Grady, 19, is charged with two sets of alternative counts: first-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter, as well as aiding and abetting first-degree robbery and grand theft.
He is detained at the Pennington County Jail with no bond.
Lord’s killing was the second of Rapid City’s five homicide cases to date in 2017.