Sturgis teenager enters insanity plea in Wyoming girl's death
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Sturgis teenager enters insanity plea in Wyoming girl's death


STURGIS | A Sturgis teen entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of a 16-year-old Upton, Wyo., girl during an arraignment hearing Thursday in Sturgis.

On Wednesday, a Meade County grand jury indicted Michael Gavin Campbell on alternate charges of first-degree and second-degree murder in connection with the death of Shayna Ritthaler, whose body was found Oct. 7 in the basement of the home the suspect shared with his mother in the Blucksberg Mountain Estates subdivision east of Sturgis.

Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin said earlier this week that Ritthaler died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

Campbell, 17, is being charged as an adult for the death of Ritthaler. As a minor, the maximum penalties Campbell faces upon conviction for either charge is a term of imprisonment with a possibility of parole and a $50,000 fine.

Campbell's attorney, Steven Titus of Gillette, said he would file a motion to have the case returned to juvenile court before the next court date, a status hearing set by 4th Circuit Judge Kevin Krull for Friday, Dec. 20, in Sturgis.

Titus said after Thursday's hearing that Campbell would be undergoing a private psychological examination in the next two to three months, likely completed before the Dec. 20 status hearing.

Titus also said Campbell had no prior adult offenses and any juvenile offense record he may have is under investigation.

Merwin said investigators are still trying to determine how Campbell and Ritthaler met, the relationship between them, and the events that preceded her death.

Campbell was arrested Oct. 7 after Meade County sheriff’s deputies and officers from the South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation served a search warrant at Campbell’s home.

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