No death penalty for Hirth in murder-for-hire case

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

The latest court developments for five men accused of being connected to the murder of Jessica Rehfeld. CRIME DETAILS

 


April 17, 2018

Prosecutors echoed the Rehfeld family's wishes, deciding not to seek the death penalty against Richard Hirth. Hirth is charged with first-degree murder in the 2015 death of Jessica Rehfeld.

The victim's father, Michael Rehfeld, declined to read his statement from the previous day in court.

Hirth's next court appearance is on June 12.

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April 16

The prosecution has decided not to seek the death penalty against Jonathan Klinetobe. 

Klinetobe is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly hiring men to kidnap and murder his former girlfriend Jessica Rehfeld in 2015.

Submitting a written statement to the court on Monday, the victim's father Michael Rehfeld said the family didn't want Klinetobe to become famous on death row.

Michael said the appeals process for someone on death row could take 20-30 years, and the family doesn't want the case extended.

The family also wants items they believe Jessica had with her at the time of her death. Those items include Jessica's necklace and her phone, which they say had some of her most recent pictures.

Klinetobe's next court appearance is May 29.
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Feb. 13

Jonathon Klinetobe was in court on Tuesday, still facing a charge of first-degree murder for allegedly hiring men to kidnap and murder his former girlfriend Jessica Rehfeld in 2015.

Last summer, the defense asked for evidence to be suppressed that was collected during a search of a Sturgis residence. However, the prosecution needs more time to gather their own information before that can happen.

Klinetobe will appear in court again on Monday, April 16 at 9 a.m.

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Oct. 10, 2017

Jonathon Klinetobe, 27, and his attorneys appeared in court to schedule a status hearing for Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.

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July 18

Two men alleged to have played a role in the 2015 murder of Jessica Rehfeld appeared in court Tuesday afternoon.

David Schneider, 25, and Richard Hirth, 36, were allegedly hired by Jonathon Klintobe to kidnap and murder Rehfield.

Hirth's defense attorney has filed a motion to suppress evidence - statements he made to law enforcement. Hirth is charged with first-degree murder, and the Pennington County state's attorney is seeking the death penalty for both him and Klinetobe.

Hirth will make his next courtroom appearance on Nov. 16.

Schneider pleaded guilty earlier this year and will be sentenced Dec. 12.

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June 14

Jonathon Klinetobe, 27, appearing in court on Wednesday for an evidentiary hearing. The defense made their case that evidence collected during a search of a Sturgis residence, should be thrown out.

Klinetobe is charged with first-degree murder and facing the death penalty for allegedly hiring David Schneider, 25, and Richard Hirth, 35, to kidnap and murder Jessica Rehfeld, 22, in 2015.

During Wednesday’s hearing, four Rapid City Police Department detectives were questioned as to how evidence was collected and what led them to ask for a search warrant of the apartment, where Rehfeld's belongings were allegedly found. In the apartment, detectives allegedy found Rehfeld’s purse, necklace, jewelry, phone separated from battery, receipts with Rehfeld’s name on it, and hair ties.  

The defense also questioned the constitutionality of the death penalty. Judge Linngren ruled a side hearing will be held at a later date.

 Klinetobe will be back in court for a status hearing Aug. 15 at 2 p.m.

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June 7

Jonathon Klinetobe, age 27, appeared for an evidentiary hearing Wednesday. A second evidentiary hearing, which will take place June 14 at 8:30 a.m.

Klinetobe has been charged with first-degree murder. 

David Schneider, 25, and Richard Hirth, 35, were allegedly hired by Klinetobe to kidnap and murder Jessica Rehfeld.

Hirth's evidentiary hearing is scheduled for June 14.

Schneider pleaded guilty earlier this year. DETAILS 

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April 6

Pennington County State's Attorney Mark Vargo has announced that he will seek the death penalty for Jonathan Klinetobe and Richard Hirth.

Defense attorneys for the men both objected, stating they weren't notified about Vargo's intent to seek the death penalty in a timely matter.

Hirth's attorney also filed a motion to suppress alleged statements. His evidentiary hearing is scheduled for June 14 at 8:30 a.m.

Klinetobe's next hearing is set for June 7 at 1 p.m.

The men are both charged with first-degree murder, along with other felonies.

The judge is keeping a gag order on case details due to the nature of the ongoing investigation.

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Jan. 24

Justice for the killing of Jessica Rehfeld continues. Accused mastermind and boyfriend of Rehfeld, Jonathan Klinetobe, appeared in court Tuesday, along with accused killer Richard Hirth.

Both Klinetobe and Hirth had motion hearings Tuesday. The men are both under investigation for an insanity defense. The investigation is in the early stages, and the next status hearing will be on March 30.

Last week, 24-year-old David Schneider pleaded guilty in exchange for the prosecutors pulling the death penalty off the table. DETAILS  

Michael Frye accepted the charge of being an accessory to a felony in connection with the murder. DETAILS 

Garland Brown has also entered a guilty plea. DETAILS 

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