STURGIS | Two young men and a woman from Fort Collins, Colo., and a fourth man from Sturgis, have been arrested, jailed and charged with committing numerous felonies including kidnapping following an early Saturday morning home invasion in which a Sturgis woman was assaulted.
Apprehended Tuesday in Spearfish were Azariah Job Conley, 18, Sturgis, and Moses Isai Avila, 19, Elizabeth Loraine Mauk, 18, and Armando Louis Valdivia, 18, all of Fort Collins, state Attorney General Marty Jackley’s office announced Thursday.
The quartet of suspects is charged with a variety of felony crimes, including second-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary, aggravated assault and identity theft. If convicted, the suspects could face combined maximum penalties of up to 92 years, as well as fines totaling more than $100,000 each, according to the attorney general's office.
Although unconfirmed by local and state law enforcement agencies, the charges apparently stem from the reported invasion by the suspects of a home on Ball Park Road early Saturday morning. In that incident, which began shortly after 7 a.m., the homeowner, a Sturgis woman in her 50s, encountered the four individuals who entered her home without permission, allegedly seeking money.
During the invasion, the suspects reportedly shot the woman 14 times with a pellet gun, two shots to her eye and a dozen to her torso. The homeowner was subsequently treated for her injuries at a Rapid City hospital and was later released.
Meade County State’s Attorney Kevin Krull late Thursday characterized the crime in the town of 6,800 as “a little bit frightening.”
“Anytime somebody is assaulted in this way is surprising and frightening,” Krull said. “Today at the court hearing, I was able to share that they were demanding money from her. They were able to get her ATM debit card and withdraw a small amount of money.”
The lone female suspect in the kidnapping and assault apparently did not enter the house, but was responsible for driving the vehicle used by the other assailants, Krull said.
“The other three went in the house, threatened the victim, beat the victim, and shot her multiple times with a BB gun or a pellet gun,” the state’s attorney said.
Krull said he had not received information on why the suspects chose the victim's house. All four suspects in the incident will be arraigned on the afternoon of Nov. 22, the day before the Thanksgiving holiday, he said.
The incident remains under investigation by the state Division of Criminal Investigation, Spearfish Police, and the Meade and Lawrence County sheriff’s offices, he said.