RAPID CITY, S.D. — A fatal shooting in the parking lot of a Rapid City motel was a drug deal gone bad, Pennington County’s lead prosecutor said.
Charles Birdshead, 30, is charged with manslaughter and commission of a felony with a firearm in the Jan. 7 death of Eustacio Marrufo, 33, at the South Dakota Rose Inn. Birdshead was arrested Monday and made his first court appearance Tuesday. Magistrate Judge Heidi Linngren ordered him held without bond, the Rapid City Journal reported.
“I’m tired of running. I have no plans of any flight,” Birdshead told the judge. “I’m treating this serious and I want to take care of it as best I can.”
State’s Attorney Mark Vargo said the shooting happened during a botched drug deal, and evidence suggests Birdshead was the drug dealer, according to KELO-TV. Marrufo, who had been living in Rapid City and Kansas, was found at the scene dead of a gunshot wound to the chest.
“A manslaughter count as we’ve charged it requires that the homicide was unnecessary, or in the first count that it was in the commission of a felony,” Vargo said. “In this case, we’ve alleged that it was during the commission of a distribution of a controlled substance.”
Authorities had sought Birdshead for about a week for questioning before locating him in a mobile home Monday night. Officers surrounded the home and a negotiator used a public address system to contact Birdshead, who surrendered peacefully.
Police Lt. Tom Senesac told the Journal that authorities tracked down Birdshead through tips on an anonymous tip line.
Slayings are rare in South Dakota — just 21 murders and non-negligent homicides were reported in 2011 by the FBI. Birdshead could face life in prison if convicted.