Sioux Falls, SD
Attorneys for a Sioux Falls murder suspect want his case moved to juvenile court.
Trevor Kruthoff was 17-years-old in December when he was involved in a botched robbery at a Sioux Falls home and shot and killed 20-year-old Jordan LeBeau.
Kruthoff is 18-years-old now but defense attorneys are arguing that Kruthoff should be prosecuted as a juvenile.
Police say Kruthoff and 18-year-old Brian Anderson drove from Watertown to Sioux Falls on December 2 to rob LeBeau after being recruited to carry out the robbery by LeBeau's drug-dealing friends.
The robbery turned violent and Kruthoff shot and killed LeBeau.
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On Thursday Kruthoff’s parents took the witness stand and described their son as a good kid who was hanging out with the wrong group of friends.
"In high school he started hanging out with some different people; a lot of single-parent homes and kids who didn't have as much guidance,” Trevor’s mother Melissa Kruthoff said.
Melissa Kruthoff says her son started smoking marijuana in high school and at one point she even turned him into police.
Experts say one friend Kruthoff looked up to the most was Brian Anderson who police say was selling marijuana to Kruthoff. Anderson was getting the pot from Kevin Rice, who worked with Austin Hogan and Jordan LeBeau. All of the men got the marijuana from Faith Rasmussen who police describe as a 'drug supplier' in Sioux Falls who was getting large shipments every month.
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Sioux Falls Police Detective Jon Carda testified Thursday that LeBeau's friends were getting upset that LeBeau was ‘hoarding’ money and recruited Anderson to rob LeBeau.
Kruthoff's defense attorney Jeff Larson read a police interview in court Thursday where Anderson said he in turn recruited Kruthoff.
"His statement was 'I feel guilty for asking Trevor to go. He didn't want to go and I persuaded him and Kevin said it would be easy and no one would get hurt,'" Larson read.
Kruthoff shot Jordan LeBeau during the robbery after his dad, Jason LeBeau, showed up and caught Anderson and Kruthoff in the act and the men started fighting.
Now, defense attorneys are trying to show that Kruthoff was just a kid who was caught up with the wrong crowd.
Prosecutors pointed out during the testimony Thursday that if Kruthoff is prosecuted as a juvenile he will be released from custody when he is 21-years-old.
Kevin Rice, Austin Hogan, and Brian Anderson are also facing charges in adult court for their connections to LeBeau's murder.
Faith Rasmussen is being held on federal drug charges.