Death penalty off the table in Rapid City murder

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – Pennington County prosecutors say they won’t seek the death penalty in a first-degree murder case involving a woman who was struck and killed in a Walmart parking lot in Rapid City.

Forty-eight-year-old Rochelle Seminole is charged in the crash last May that took the life of 37-year-old Kimberly Clifford. Seminole was back in a 7th Circuit courtroom Thursday.

Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Lara Roetzel says the case simply doesn’t meet the mitigating and aggravating circumstances required for the death penalty in South Dakota.

If Seminole is convicted on the murder charge she would receive a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.

Witnesses told police they saw Seminole and Clifford fighting in the parking lot before Seminole hit or attempted to hit Clifford with a SUV and then backed up before plowing into the woman.

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