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Murder charge dismissed by judge against Rapid City woman involved in Rose Inn death

Tracy Laughlin.jpg

Tracy Laughlin

A Rapid City woman previously charged with murder for the death of Jesus Vance pleaded guilty Friday to being an accessory to a crime. 

Tracy Laughlin's previous murder charge was dismissed due to Judge Jeffrey Connolly ruling that she did not shoot the victim in the case. The murder charges against the other three defendants —Travis Nelson, William Long and Gilbert Reyna — were also dismissed.

The dismissal of the murder charges against all four have been appealed by the Pennington County State's Attorney's Office to the South Dakota Supreme Court, which has yet to make a ruling on the petition. 

"So we're kind of in limbo right now," said Pennington County State's Attorney Mark Vargo. 

Vance was found in a room at the South Dakota Rose Inn on East Boulevard North on the afternoon of April 9. 

Laughlin, 33, is scheduled to be sentenced at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 3 at the Pennington County Courthouse. 

She was originally charged with first degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, second degree kidnapping and being a habitual offender with one or two prior felonies. 

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