Men sentenced to 75 years in shooting death of Box Elder teen

RAPID CITY, S.D. —  The two men behind the accidental shooting of a Box Elder teen were sentenced to 75 years in the state penitentiary Wednesday afternoon in Pennington County court.

Andre Martinez and Cole Waters, both now 20 years old, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter earlier this year for the drug deal that led to the death of Emmanuel Hinton.

According to court testimony, in February 2019, Martinez recruited Waters to conduct a drug deal on Rapid City’s north side, but agreed to steal the drugs. Waters brought a gun and during the meet up with Hinton and three others who were in a vehicle, Waters’ hand with the gun became stuck in the car as it drove away, firing and striking Hinton in the head.

Before handing down the sentence, Judge Robert Gusinsky spoke of the profound effect drugs have had on this community and how it has led people down the path of violence. While Waters was the one who pulled the trigger, though accidentally, Gusinsky said both men were equally responsible since the idea to steal the drugs was Martinez’ and Waters consented and brought the gun along.

Both men were sentenced to 75 years behind bars with ten years suspended and credit for time served.

Categories: Crime, Local News