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July 30, 2009 04:55 PM

A Look Back At Poage Murder


Briley Piper's involvement in the killing of Chester Allan Poage was spelled out in chilling detail during a videotaped confession by Elijah Page.

In May of 2000, Elijah Page took investigators to a remote part of the Black Hills where he, Piper and Darrell Hoadley tortured and then killed Poage. The three decided to kill Poage in order to rob Poage's mother's home in Spearfish.

Page matter-of-factly recounted to investigators the crime that left Poage begging for his life. Page, Piper and Hoadley took Poage to Higgins Gulch near Spearfish, ordered Poage to remove his clothes and told him he was going to die.

Investigator: How did Allan react to that when he got that information?
Page: He was scared. He asked us not to do it, just to let him go.

But Poage wouldn't go quietly into the night. Instead, the three killers kicked him in the head, force-fed him a mixture of acid, beer and pills. And when Poage tried to get away, Page stabbed him in the neck with the encouragement of Piper and Hoadley.

"I held his head for a minute, they were like, 'Do it. Come on. Hurry up.' So I quickly stabbed him in the throat, and turned around and was like, 'There.' And handed the knife back to Darrell," Page said.

After that, the three took turns stabbing Poage in the head as he pleaded for them to stop.

"He said, 'Let me go.' And then he asked if we could take him to his house and let him die," Page said.

Investigator: What did you guys say?
Page: We told him no.

The gruesome ordeal ended when Page crushed Poage's head with large rocks, killing him. Page would pay for the crime with his life, the first execution in South Dakota in sixty years.

Page also signed a written confession sent to the governor's office in which he said the killing was his and Hoadley's idea, and that Piper wanted nothing to do with it.  But authorities determined that Page was likely lying to protect Piper.
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