The man accused of murdering a Sioux Falls woman as part of a larger plot to kill the President was in a Minnehaha County courtroom Tuesday afternoon.
James McVay faces murder and burglary charges in the death of Maybelle Schien on July 2. McVay had his formal arraignment Tuesday afternoon. The court entered a not guilty plea on all six charges he faces. The first two counts, for first-degree murder, are punishable by life in prison or the death penalty. For the other four counts of first-degree burglary, he initially faced a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. But state's attorney Aaron McGowan added an additional document to the proceedings, using McVay's criminal history as a way to enhance those charges.
"With counts one and two, they are punishable by life or death. Counts three through six are punishable by life with the extended penalty with the part two habitual information filed today," McGowan said.
McGowan says they used multiple convictions from McVay's past, including his escape in 2009 and stolen motorcycle in 2006, to increase those penalties.
"Those were the convictions that we felt we could possibly enhance the penalty on the burglary charges," McGowan said.
McVay didn't speak much Tuesday, simply saying, "Yes," or, "Yes, I do," when the judge asked if he understood the proceedings. McGowan says they're still collecting evidence and are unsure yet if they'll seek the death penalty.
A trial date has been set for October 11.