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Absolu Against Triple Murder Case Filed For Retrial

Arnson Absolu is accused of three first-degree murders in Pennington County. (Photo: rapidcityjournal)

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.

Absolu faces a minimum of life in prison under South Dakota law.

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

Prior to the verdict being read, the courtroom was filled with the victims’ families, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, courthouse employees, and personnel. The room fell silent as the judge entered, expecting the jury to arrive.

Absolu’s body language remained consistent throughout the verdict reading, but he sighed as the judge discussed setting his sentencing date, which will be at 1 p.m. Feb. 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.

On Monday, the defense filed a motion for a new trial, claiming that a key witness is a “person of interest” in a homicide in November 2022.

The defense described the situation as “a violation of a defendant’s due process rights” in its motion for a new trial.

We did contact the prosecutor in the case, who informed us that this witness was not and is not on trial for another murder.

According to the defense, credibility was a key issue in the trial, and the new information could have caused jurors to have reasonable doubts.


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