LINCOLN COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) — A Lincoln County man charged with killing a young mother has made a plea deal.

On Monday morning, 23-year-old Jackson Phillips pleaded guilty to manslaughter. In exchange for that plea, other charges, including murder, were dropped.

Jackson Phillips

According to a factual basis statement read in court Monday, Phillips admits strangling Randi Gerlach on February 21, 2022, at his parent’s house just south of Sioux Falls.

He then hid her body in the basement. A family member found her about a week later.

Gerlach’s sister, Kiley Riedel, isn’t satisfied with what happened in the courtroom Monday.

“I’m not really happy with it. I feel that a lot more could’ve came from it with the result even in the plea deal and what they offered him,” Riedel said.

In a statement to KELOLAND News, the Lincoln County State’s Attorney said,”My office will be seeking a life sentence for this act of domestic violence that took Randi’s life and so much from our community.”

Living without Gerlach has been a struggle for family and friends.

“It’s horrible. It’s like not having someone you were so close to to talk with. It’s just a complete cutoff,” Gerlach’s friend McKenzie Madsen said.

“The one person that is truly affected by this situation that truly deserves justice is my nephew. It breaks my heart every single day knowing my nephew doesn’t get to see his mom,” Riedel said.

Phillips is scheduled to be sentenced on June 30.