BREAKING: Convicted Rapid City murderer Charles Rhines put to death
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The State of South Dakota has put convicted Rapid City murderer Charles Rhines to death.
Rhines, 62, was convicted in the 1992 killing of 22-year-old Donnivan Schaeffer. Rhines stabbed Schaeffer to death after Schaeffer interrupted Rhines’ robbery of a Rapid City doughnut shop.
Rhines was arrested three months later in Seattle, Washington and was extradited back to South Dakota. In January of 1993, Rhines was found guilty of first degree murder, and within the month learned that he was sentenced to death. The original sentence called for Rhines to be put to death the week of August 22, 1993 — but it has taken 26 years for the judgement to be carried out.
The delay stems from years of appeals, with Rhines filing petition after petition through the 1990s and early 2000s. One of Rhines’ first appeals alleged that jurors were prejudice against him due to his sexual orientation. The petition made its way to the United States Supreme Court, where they denied to hear the case.
Most recently, Rhines had three appeals in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as a final effort to delay his execution. The first challenged the drug that was to be used in the lethal injection, saying it is not as fast acting as the drugs used at the time of his conviction. His second appeal claims he was not given proper access to mental health experts. The last appeal was a return to the claim that jurors were prejudiced against his sexual orientation when they made their decision.
Monday’s execution was delayed as Justice Neil Gorsuch worked to reviewed the three appeals made by Rhines. Justice Gorsuch denied the appeals and presented them to the full court, which then allowed for the continuation of Rhines’ execution.
The state’s news conference is expected to follow soon. Follow this article or watch MyTV to catch the conference live.