Man accused of 2020 Rapid City Christmas Eve murder makes first trial appearance

Richard Elias

Elias Richard

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The trial of a Rapid City man charged with second-degree murder began Tuesday at the Pennington County courthouse.

Elias Richard is accused of killing 31-year-old Vernall Marshall on Christmas Eve 2020.

In its opening statement, the prosecution said it will present evidence that Elias Richard and three accomplices were at the scene of the crime.  And they showed how investigators were able to track a vehicle that witnesses had reported at the scene.

One of the accomplices, Clint Marshall, has already pleaded guilty in connection with the killing and testified against Richard on Tuesday.

Marshall testified that another accomplice, Kaleb Lukkes, had set up a fake drug deal with the victim and had given Marshall a taser, telling him to use the taser on Vernall Marshall as soon as they got the money.

Then according to Clint Marshall, the victim got into the car, after which a fight broke out. Then according to Clint Marshall, Elias Richards shot Vernall Marshall twice.

The prosecution was expected to continue presenting its case on Wednesday. The trial is expected to last a week.


Categories: Crime, Local News, South Dakota News