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Attorney General Mark Vargo

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Three sentenced in cases tied to Mitchell fatal shooting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2022
CONTACT: Stewart Huntington, 605-773-6878

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Mark Vargo and Davison County State’s Attorney James Miskimins announce that all three defendants who faced charges in cases surrounding the shooting death of Adalberto Ferrer-Machado in Mitchell, S.D., have been sentenced to the state penitentiary.

Luis Javier Perez-Melendez pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree, a Class C Felony, and was sentenced to 75 years in the state penitentiary.

Jose Carlos Gil Morales-Acevedo pleaded guilty to First Degree Robbery, a Class 2 Felony, and was sentenced to 25 years with 12-and-a-half years suspended.

Yanitza Isabel Ortiz pleaded guilty to two methamphetamine-related charges; one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, a Class 4 Felony, and one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance in a Drug Free Zone, a Class 4 Felony. She was sentenced to 10 years with 2 years suspended on both counts with the sentences to run consecutively.

All three were sentenced on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022.

“We had a strong working relationship with the victim’s family and feel that justice was served for the victim and his family,” said Miskimins. “On behalf of our office, I’d like to thank the Attorney General’s Office for assisting our team with this case.”

The charges stemmed from an incident on Jan. 9, 2021, when Morales-Acevedo and Perez-Melendez went to a Mitchell apartment building where Ferrer-Machado lived. There was an argument and Perez-Melendez shot and killed Ferrer-Machado.

“It is important that criminals face justice,” said Attorney General Vargo. “And that often takes a lot of hard work by dedicated professionals. That was the case in this instance. Well done.”

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Mitchell Police Department with assistance from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

“We hope that seeing the people responsible for the death of Adalberto Ferrer-Machado getting sent to prison brings a small measure of closure for his family,” said Assistant Attorney General Katie L. Mallery who prosecuted the case along with Davison County State’s Attorney Miskimins and Deputy State’s Attorney Robert O’Keefe.

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