The two men accused of murdering 17-year-old Emmanuel Hinton in Rapid City earlier this week did so during a planned robbery, a prosecutor said Friday in court.
Andre Martinez, a 19-year-old from Rapid City, came up with a plan to rob another teenager who was selling marijuana, said Karla MacArthur Harris, a prosecutor with the Pennington County State's Attorney Office.
Martinez then recruited Cole Waters, also 19 and from Rapid City, to help with the robbery, the prosecutor said. When four people met for the deal, Waters held a gun — owned by Martinez — to Hinton's head before shooting him. Waters reportedly admitted to investigators that he pulled the trigger
Hinton, of Box Elder, was shot around 8 p.m. Feb. 26 in an alley on the 700 block of Blaine Avenue and died at the hospital around 10:30 p.m. He was taken to the hospital by an individual who was with him at the time of the shooting. Waters turned himself in the next morning, while Martinez was arrested at his home after a brief deployment of the Rapid City-Pennington County Special Response Team.
Martinez and Waters, who appeared in court via a TV linked to the jail, are each charged with aiding and abetting first-degree murder, committing a felony with a gun, conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, and aiding and abetting an attempted first-degree robbery. If convicted of the murder charges, they would receive a punishment of either life in prison or the death penalty.
Both men have had past encounters with the criminal justice system, Judge Sarah Morrison said.
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MacArthur Harris requested $1 million cash-only bonds for both men. A lawyer standing next to Martinez called the request "quite exuberant" and said her client can't afford it and that he has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental health problems. But Morrison agreed to the $1 million bond and ordered Martinez and Waters not to contact the other teenager they allegedly planned to rob.
Family or friends of the defendants gasped and cried when they learned of their high bonds and that if found guilty, they could be executed.
Waters, who cried and appeared distraught during the hearing, shouted out "I love you Mom and Dad" before being taken back to his cell.
Hinton also had supporters at the hearing.
He was "the (most caring) guy I ever met," 18-year-old Rhianna Dodd said after the hearing. Dodd, who was there with two friends, said Hinton was nice to everyone and had a large and loving family and group of friends. She said Hinton worked various jobs to support his family and recently helped fix his mother's car.
His death is the "worst thing that could have happened," she said.