Plea agreement reached for man charged in 2020 death of Harry Black Bear

Mexican, LawrenceRAPID CITY, S.D. — A Rapid City man accused of killing 48-year-old Harry Black Bear in June of 2020 has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge after reaching a plea agreement with the State.

Lawrence Mexican, who was 29-years-old at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree manslaughter in Black Bear’s death. In exchange, the State dropped the second-degree murder charge, along with several other miscellaneous files.

Court documents say that Mexican and Black Bear were at The Palms Apartments, located at 710 Meade Street, on June 6, 2020, when a confrontation began. Black Bear was holding a curtain rod and had been knocked down. As he attempted to get back up, Mexican kicked him twice in the head, killing him. Mexican’s attorney, Conor Duffy, said this was in the heat of the moment, and that Mexican didn’t intend on killing Black Bear.

First-degree manslaughter is a Class C Felony, with a maximum penalty of life in prison. Per the plea agreement, the State is recommending a maximum of 30 years. Judge Matthew Brown acknowledged this recommendation, but also explained to Mexican that he isn’t bound to it.

Mexican’s sentencing is set for Wednesday, August 24 at 10 a.m. at the Pennington County Courthouse.

Categories: Crime, Local News