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Man charged in Rapid City triple homicide appears in court

January 20, 2021 GMT

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A New York City man accused of killing three people in Rapid City made his first appearance in Pennington County Court on Wednesday, nearly five months after the alleged triple homicide.

Arnson Absolu, 36, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Charles Red Willow, Ashley Nagy and Dakota Zaiser. If convicted, Absolu will be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole. It would be up to the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s Office to decide whether it wants to pursue the death penalty if there’s a conviction.

Red Willow, a 26-year-old from Rapid City, and Nagy, a 29-year-old from Greeley, Colorado, were found dead Aug. 24 from multiple bullet wounds inside a car in a Rapid City park. The body of the 22-year-old Zaiser, of Rapid City, was found in some woods outside the city about a month later.

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Police have said all three killings may be related to drugs.

Absolu made his initial appearance via a video feed from the jail. He told a magistrate judge he didn’t have a lawyer and didn’t understand his rights and the charges against him. He also complained that his civil rights were being violated, the Rapid City Journal reported.