Rapid City man convicted in murder-for-hire case sentenced

RAPID CITY, S.D. – William Thoman, the Rapid City man found guilty last month of trying to get a gun to kill a local doctor, was sentenced to 15 years in jail with 10 years suspended and credit for the 358 days already served.

Thoman, 63, was found guilty last month of criminal solicitation to aiding and abetting first degree murder, which is punishable up to 50 years behind bars.

Prosecutors and Thoman’s defense attorney asked for vastly different sentences.

Assistant Attorney General Trevor Thielen, prosecutor in the case, asked 7th Circuit Judge Jeffrey Connolly to sentence Thoman to 20 years in jail. Thielen says repetitive comments made by Thoman have led to a separate but similar case.

It’s the repetitive comments that the defense says are harmless. Ron Sasso, a witness in the case, spoke on Thoman’s behalf and said “he has no filter…and there’s a huge difference in saying something versus acting on it.”

Thoman’s attorney, Ellery Grey, requested probation and mandated anger management counseling. “I don’t see that putting him in prison sends a message,” said Grey.

Before handing down the sentence, Connolly said 20 years was not appropriate. In addition to the 15 years with 10 years suspended and credit for time served, Thoman is also ordered to pay travel costs for the doctor who left the area after learning of the threats against him.

Connolly concluded the hearing by telling Thoman he has the right to appeal the decision and “I understand you’re going to,” as Thoman nodded in agreement.

Thoman declined to speak during the hearing.

Categories: Crime, Local News, South Dakota News

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