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Attorney General Mark Vargo

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Inmate Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in Cellmate Death
PIERRE – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that Douglas Avery Ipsen, 28, South Dakota Penitentiary inmate, pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter in the death of his cellmate Kent Davidson. This is a class C felony, punishable by up to life imprisonment and/or $50,000 fine. The plea included a 50 year cap.

Charges against Ipsen stemmed from a September 7, 2014 incident that resulted in Davidson’s death at the South Dakota State Penitentiary. Ipsen admitted to strangling Davidson with a homemade rope pursuant to requests from Davidson.

Ipsen is currently serving a 60 year sentence for first degree rape and an additional consecutive 15 year sentence for sexual contact with a child under the age of 16. All of the sentences are from Butte County.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 17 at 1:30 p.m. at the Minnehaha County Courthouse.

The case was investigated by the Division of Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.