The former business partner of 20-year-old Jordan LeBeau admits he gave two Watertown teens the handgun used in LeBeau’s murder.
Kevin Rice, 21, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first degree manslaughter. As a part of the plea, Rice says he will testify against the other men involved in the case.
Authorities say Rice, LeBeau and LeBeau's girlfriend - Faith Rasmussen - all owned a car repair shop in Dell Rapids together before LeBeau was shot and killed during a botched robbery at LeBeau's northwest Sioux Falls home in December. Police also say Rice, LeBeau and Rasmussen were marijuana dealers in Sioux Falls. Investigators believe Rice recruited two Watertown teens to rob LeBeau because he was 'hoarding' his money.
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Rice appeared in court Wednesday with those two teens, 18-year-old Tevor Kruthoff and 19-year-old Brian Anderson, who are accused of carrying out the plot and murdering LeBeau.
Kruthoff and Anderson want to continue to take their case to a trial but Rice pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter Wednesday and admitted he gave the Watertown duo the gun and showed them where LeBeau lived. Rice added that he waited for Kruthoff and Anderson at a northwest Sioux Falls truck stop while they carried out the attempted robbery.
The Watertown teens were told there was $100,000 cash in the house - police found actually found $88,000.
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In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped all other charges against Rice. He will also testify against the other men involved in LeBeau's murder.
Rice faces a maximum sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. His sentencing date is not set because he could get less time depending on his cooperation in the other cases.