BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Supreme Court revisited the shooting death of a pizza delivery driver in Sioux Falls three years ago. Suspects Raymond Banks and Jahennessy Bryant both pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of Casey Bonhorst during a robbery attempt. A judge sentenced Banks to 60 years in prison and Bryant to 25 years. Banks’ attorney told the justices Thursday that results of a lie detector test should have been submitted as evidence during his sentencing hearing.
Raymond Banks and Jahennessy Bryant have both pointed to each other as the gunman who shot and killed pizza delivery driver Casey Bonhorst in February of 2020. Banks received a prison sentence more than twice as long as Bryant after the pair pled guilty to manslaughter. According to court documents, Banks had taken a polygraph test while in jail that showed no signs of deception when he denied being the shooter. Banks’ attorney says the judge made a mistake by not allowing those test results into evidence during Banks’ sentencing.
“When Raymond Banks doesn’t even get to present the evidence or the arguments surrounding it, he’s effectively prohibited from submitting additional information regarding not only his credibility but his role in the offense. Who shot that gun is a vital question at sentencing,” Banks’ attorney Kristi Jones said.
But Assistant Attorney General Paul Swedlund says who pulled the trigger was not the vital question at Banks’ sentencing.
“Because in this case, it doesn’t matter who the shooter was, whether it was Banks or Bryant for purposes of felony murder, the lookout is as criminally culpable as the shooter,” Solicitor General Paul Swedlund said.
Swedlund says Banks received the longer prison sentence because the evidence presented at trial pointed to him, not Bryant, as the trigger man.
That evidence included a 40-second recording of a phone call Banks made to his girlfriend where he made a joke about getting a tattoo of a pizza slice on his body.