Attorney General Headshot
Attorney General Seal

8th Circuit Court of Appeals Denies Rehearing in Charles Russell Rhines’ Capital Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, October 2, 2018

CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215

PIERRE, S.D.  – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied Charles Russell Rhines’ petition for rehearing and his request for a rehearing en banc.

“Both the South Dakota Supreme Court and the 8th Circuit Federal Court have found that Charles Russell Rhines’ jury conviction and capital sentence are appropriate and constitutional,” said Jackley. “Today’s decision is an important step forward in carrying out the jury and court’s decision and holding Charles Rhines accountable for his horrific actions from over 25 years ago.” 

In January of 1993, a Pennington County Jury convicted and sentenced Rhines to death for the murder of Donnivan Schaeffer committed during the 1992 burglary of a Rapid City donut shop.  The evidence at trial included Rhines’ confession to the murder.    The South Dakota Supreme Court and United States Supreme Court affirmed Rhines’ conviction in 1996 and again in 2002. Thereafter, he filed for habeas corpus relief in State Circuit Court. That petition was denied. The South Dakota Supreme Court affirmed the denial of state habeas on July 18, 2013. Rhines filed for federal habeas relief on February 22, 2000, then Federal District Court denied habeas relief on February 16, 2016. 

Rhines has 90 days to ask the United States Supreme Court to hear his case.

-30-