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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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South Dakota Supreme Court upholds murder conviction in Pierre infant battery case

Contact: Stewart Huntington, 605-773-6878

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of Tristan Larson for causing the death of his then-girlfriend’s two-year-old son. Larson had appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court arguing that prosecutors should have been barred from using statements he made to a Pierre Police Department Detective and that the Supreme Court should grant him an acquittal.

The Supreme Court last month rejected Larson’s arguments and unanimously upheld his May 28, 2021, convictions for Second Degree Murder and Aggravated Battery of an Infant. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary on the first count and 55 years for the second count.

“Nothing we can do can bring Easton back to his mother,” said Hughes County States Attorney Jessica LaMie who tried the case in front of a Hughes County jury with Deputy Attorney General Brent Kempema and Deputy Attorney General Robert Mayer. “But we will always work to hold accountable those who harm South Dakota children.”

On April 16, 2020, Larson was home watching his then-girlfriend’s two-year-old son, Easton, while she was at work. Larson shoved Easton with enough force to cause the toddler to die two days later from injuries sustained from the shove.

The Attorney General’s Office would like to thank the Pierre Police Department, the Division of Criminal Investigation and the Hughes County Victim’s Assistance Program for their help in investigating and prosecuting this crime.