James Ladeaux Sr. pleads ‘Not Guilty’ to second-degree murder
RAPID CITY, S.D. — James Ladeaux Sr. pleaded not guilty to a lessor charge of second-degree murder for the stabbing death of his brother on Monday.
The stabbing happened in March when Ladeaux was allegedly attempting to rob his brother. He was originally charged with first-degree murder, with two additional counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement. A status hearing will be held on June 24.
Now that Ladeaux is charged with second-degree murder, the death penalty is no longer an option for sentencing if he is convicted. Second-degree murder can only be punishable with up to life in prison. The two charges of aggravated assault can add an additional 25 years per charge, for a maximum of 50 years if Ladeaux is found guilty of both charges.
At approximately 11 p.m. on March 18 police were called to 35 Omaha Street for a report of an unconscious male in the alleyway between Main Street and St. Joseph Street. Upon arrival police found two men, one was unconscious and bleeding and the other was sitting nearby.
When police officers began life-saving measures on the unconscious male, the second male refused to give officers enough room to do so. When a second officer arrived and attempted to remove Ladeaux from the area, he brandished a knife and began waving it at the officers. He continued to ignore officers’ commands, at which time the police tasered him and were able to take him into custody.
Medical units tried additional lifesaving measures but were unsuccessful and Ladeaux’s brother was announced dead on the scene from apparent stab wounds.