CANTON, S.D. (KELO) — A man accused in a 2020 murder in Sioux Falls is eligible to face the death penalty, according to a ruling from a second circuit judge.
In January 2020, Amir Beaudion Jr. was charged with kidnapping a woman outside an east Sioux Falls Wal-Mart store. He is also charged with raping and murdering her before dumping her body in a Lincoln County ditch.
Beaudion, who was 19 at the time, is accused of killng 20-year-old Pasqalina Badi back in January of 2020.
Court papers say Beaudion followed Badi through the Wal-Mart parking lot on East Arrowhead Parkway — where she worked — in the early morning hours of January 5.
Prosecutors said during a news conference Beaudion was tied to the killing thanks to forensics.
“Video evidence from various businesses around town. Offer a kudos to them as well. Everyone with a surveillance camera on the potential route that may have been taken by the suspect was contacted and worked well in presenting, providing evidence,” Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman said in 2020.
Beaudion’s attorney recently filed motions declaring the South Dakota’s capital sentencing process and death penalty unconstitutional for a teenage suspect.
A psychologist, who was hired by the defense, testified that late teens, because their brains are not yet fully developed, are still predisposed to impulsive and risk-seeking behavior.
He said they strive for rewards and are less concerned about punishment than adults.
The judge has denied both of those motions.
In the ruling the judge wrote, in nearly twenty years of attorneys trying to protect teens and young adults from the death penalty by moving the age limit to 21 or below, the U.S. Supreme Court has not moved that line.
Beaudion’s attorney could still file a motion to have Beaudion declared intellectually disabled. If that happens, Lincoln County State’s attorney Tom Wollman says he will consider filing an intermediate appeal.
The murder, rape and kidnapping case is one of six pending cases against Beaudion.
Prior to his 2020 arrest, he was on probation for having a gun with an altered serial number. In May of 2019, he was accused of assaulting law enforcement. And on January 1, 2020, just days before alleged murder, he’s accused of attempting to kidnap a woman outside of a grocery store.
He’s also accused of committing two crimes inside the Minnehaha County Jail. In April 2021, he was accused of assaulting a correctional officer. Three months later, he was accused of being caught with five homemade shanks.