FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 30, 2015
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215
State Will Not Seek the Death Penalty for Alexander Salgado
PIERRE – Attorney General Marty Jackley and Hanson County State’s Attorney Jim Davies announce today that in the interest of justice and based upon the totality of circumstances in the case, that it will not be their intent to file a Notice to Seek the Death Penalty and breach of agreement in the Alexander Salgado case. Alexander Salgado and Maricela Diaz, a juvenile at the time, were both arrested in November of 2009 for luring Jasmine Guevana to a remote location in rural Hanson County where they stabbed her, cut her throat and then set her car on fire while she was in the trunk.
“I and the State’s Attorney were present when Alexander Salgado entered the plea agreement and provided the horrific details of how he and Maricela Diaz murdered a 16-year-old little girl. Upon reviewing Salgado’s recent trial testimony, it is my opinion that he has failed to satisfy even the most basic conditions of his plea agreement. However, based upon all of the circumstances, including discussions with Jasmine’s family members and the State’s Attorney, I do not believe it is in the interest of justice or South Dakota to move forward with the death penalty particularly in light of the fact that Salgado is presently serving a mandatory life sentence without the chance of parole. I struggle to believe that Jasmine’s family will ever find closure, but I hope that the completion of these trial matters will allow them to begin to heal,” said Jackley.
On November 24, 2009, Alexander Salgado (20), from Fort Wayne Indiana/Dereo Mexico, was indicted for the murder of 16-year-old Jasmine Guevana. On July 12, 2010, the State provided notice of its intent to seek the death penalty. Salgado plead guilty to second degree murder on August 30, 2010, and is currently serving a life sentence without parole at the South Dakota Penitentiary. As a condition of his plea agreement, the state withdrew its Notice of Death Penalty and Salgado set forth detailed factual bases regarding his and Diaz involvement in the murder of Jasmine. Defendant further acknowledged “that any misrepresentation or omission made during the course of Defendants debriefings and cooperation with law enforcement may result in revocation of this agreement at the State’s discretion.”
During the recent trial of his co-defendant Diaz, it is the State’s position that Salgado failed to adhere to the simple conditions and requirements of the plea agreement, said testimony being of public record. At her trial, Diaz was convicted of first degree murder. On March 27, 2015, Diaz was sentenced to serve 80 years for first degree murder and 50 years for kidnapping to run concurrently.