Change of plea hearing held in triple homicide

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 7:57 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TYNDALL, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -A Scotland man has changed his plea in connection to a triple homicide in November of 2021.

Today, another hearing was held in Bon Homme County where some closure was provided.

In November of 2021, Francis Lange was arrested on murder charges after authorities say he shot and killed his former girlfriend, her father, and a friend.

Today he arrived at the Bon Homme County Courthouse to change his plea in connection to the triple homicide.

Where he entered a guilty but mentally ill plea.

South Dakota Attorney General, Marty Jackley says this plea will not have a significant impact on sentencing.

“A guilty but mentally ill plea is the same as a guilty plea but with one main exception. It still is life without the chance for parole however during that sentence a guilty but mentally ill plea allows for further investigation and treatment for that mental illness during the correction process,” said Attorney General Marty Jackley, (R) SD.

He discussed what the sentencing may look like.

“He will still face three mandatory life without the chance of parole sentences as well as the additional thirty years for the aggravated assaults,” said Jackley.

He also shared why this plea lengthened the process.

“A part of the reason this took the amount because it is a guilty but mentally ill plea it required an additional hearing, additional circumstances including the psychiatric review, reports, and the testimony that you heard today,” said Jackley.

Jackley discussed why the death penalty was not perused last year with the former attorney general’s office.

“I think South Dakota knows that I utilize the death penalty, notice sparingly, typically when it involves the death of a young child, death of law enforcement or a corrections officer, but that was a decision that the prior administration made,” said Jackley.

The sentencing hearing for Lange will be held on July 24 at 9:30 a.m.