Man gets 40 years for shooting Watertown teen to death

Posted: Updated:

March 21

PIERRE, S.D. - A man who fatally shot a Watertown teen has been sentenced to 40 years for first-degree manslaughter.

Alexis Javier Velazquez-Sanchez, 31, shot Jayden Harley, 17, last June after an argument. Harley later died of his injuries.

Velazquez-Sanchez originally pleaded not guilty but mentally ill. He changed that plea to guilty but mentally ill last month.

“This case has resulted in a tragic loss of a young teenager for a family and the Watertown community,” said Attorney General Marty Jackley. “The hope is this sentence will bring some closure to the family in this very difficult case.”

Velazquez-Sanchez was sentenced to 50 years with 10 years suspended in the state penitentiary.


Feb. 1

Attorney General Marty Jackley and Codington County States Attorney Rebecca Morlock Reeves confirm that Alexis Javier Velazquez-Sanchez, Watertown, 31, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to one count of first-degree manslaughter, Class C felony, punishable by life in prison and/or $50,000 fine.

Charges stem from an incident outside a Watertown residence that resulted in Velaquez-Sanchez shooting and killing a Watertown teen.

A sentencing date has been scheduled for March 21 at 9 a.m. CST.

This case was investigated by Codington County Sheriff’s Office, Watertown Police Department and the Division of Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by the Codington County States Attorney and the Attorney General’s Office.

Information from the office of South Dakota Attorney General Marty J. Jackley

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