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Triple Murder Case: New York Man Convicted

After deliberation, Arson Absolu guilty of triple murder case (Photo: NewsCenter1)

After two days of deliberation, a Pennington County jury announced the verdict in a triple murder case against a Bronx, New York man — guilty of three counts of first-degree murder — Thursday afternoon.

The solemn eight-man, four-woman jury determined that Arnson Absolu killed with premeditation Charles Red Willow, 26, of Rapid City, Ashley Nagy, 29, of Greeley, Colo., and Dakota Zaiser, 22, of Rapid City, almost 2.5 years ago

“We’re just thrilled,” Roxanne Hammond, the case’s lead prosecutor, told the Journal following the verdict.

Absolu remained steady through the reading of the verdict, but he sighed as the judge discussed setting his sentencing date, which will take place at 1:00 p.m. on February 24.

Timothy Rensch, Absolu’s attorney, congratulated Hammond on his victory in the hallway after escorting him back to the county jail. In return, she complimented him on his bravery.

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After Zaiser and Absolu met Red Willow at Thomson Park in Rapid City, Absolu shot Red Willow seven times and Nagy once because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Before arriving at the scene, Red Willow and Nagy stopped at a gas station to get snacks and drinks.

Absolu then killed Zaiser at an apartment on East Watertown Street in north Rapid City, stabbing him literally and metaphorically in the back. He then placed Zaiser’s body in a plastic tub in the back of a rented blue Chevy Malibu.

That effort was ultimately insufficient for the jury to find Absolu not guilty. The argument that the murder weapon — a.40 caliber black and silver Smith & Wesson discovered in Rapid Creek.

The car that Absolu rented from Casey’s Auto Rental on Fifth Street contained a tracking device that led investigators to him in the Bronx, where he was arrested on September 4, 2020, and extradited to Rapid City on January 6, 2021. Rensch also pointed out to the jury the case’s lack of DNA, fingerprint, and blood evidence. Absolu’s DNA was not discovered at the murder scene in Thomson Park, and no blood evidence was discovered at the East Watertown Street apartment or in the fateful rented blue Chevy Malibu.

After viewing video footage of the vehicle near the scene, identifying its make, model, and year range, and then checking car rentals in the area, investigators narrowed the investigation to that specific vehicle which led to the arrest of Absolu.

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