A 37-year-old felon will spend the rest of his life in prison after he pleaded guilty to murdering his girlfriend in a rural Chamberlain shed last spring.
Wednesday afternoon, Kent Davidson took responsibility for murdering 26-year-old Crystal Schulz after she tried to break off their five-month relationship. Davidson committed the crime last March and then held officers at bay during a four-hour standoff in Sioux Falls in the days following the murder.
In court Wednesday, Davidson admitted that he was going to commit suicide after Schulz told him she wanted to break up. The couple was at the rural Chamberlain home of Schulz's mother and Davidson says when he went outside to kill himself his 'mind flipped' and he decided instead to coax Schulz out to the shed to look at the newborn kittens. When Schulz went to look, he shot her in the back of the head.
Schulz's mother held up a picture of her daughter in the courtroom Wednesday as she made a statement shortly before Davidson was sentenced to life in prison.
Aggie Schulz Clement was overcome by emotion as she addressed her daughter’s killer.
"You took one of the two loves of my life away from me. You'll never know the pain I feel every day," Schulz Clement said.
Davidson apologized in a short statement to the family following his guilty plea and his attorney, Clint Sargent, expressed sympathy for Schulz’s family after court.
"Kent's goal was to try to do what little he could to the family to show his remorse and take responsibility for this and not put them through any more. Today brought closure for everybody. The judge did a great job and I wish the best for their family," Sargent said.
And now Davidson, who caused a lifetime of pain for Schulz's family, will spend the rest of his in prison.
Davidson has four previous felonies and was listed as a parole absconder by the South Dakota Department of Corrections when he committed the murder.
Judge Bruce Anderson noted that Davidson's attempt to cover up his troubles with the law eroded his relationship with Schulz.