One of the men facing murder charges from a shooting over the weekend in Mitchell was arrested in December 2019 for domestic abuse aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Jose Carlos Morales Acevedo, 27, eventually pleaded to a lesser charge and was sentenced in March to a suspended 60-day jail sentence for a misdemeanor violation of a protection order. A condition of his sentence, which came out of Beadle County, was to be a law abiding citizen for one year.
After Mitchell police’s investigation, Morales Acevedo “denied being present during the homicide, but later recanted his story and admitted to being present when the victim was killed” and he admitted to “playing an active part in the homicide,” according to recently filed court documents.
A witness in the case said Morales Acevedo and the other man who was arrested, Luis Javier Perez-Melendez, went to the victim’s residence to steal a handgun from the victim prior to the alleged murder. Officers also used video surveillance and witnesses during the investigation.
Morales Acevedo had what is believed to be the victim’s blood on his shoes, according to court documents. Perez-Melendez, 28, of Mitchell, has denied committing the homicide and has refused to cooperate with the investigation.
The shooting occurred around 11 p.m. at 503½ N. Main St. in Mitchell. Authorities have not yet released the victim’s age or name, pending notification of family. Mitchell police said the suspects knew the victim and that shooting “was not a random act of violence.”
A criminal background report for Morales Acevedo shows multiple traffic violations and the domestic abuse aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge.
A police probable cause statement for that incident says Morales Acevedo on Dec. 26, 2019, fired a shotgun into the air in Huron and threatened a person by saying, “I want to shoot you in the forehead.” Despite getting cited for domestic abuse aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a class 3 felony, he pleaded guilty to violation of a protection order, a class 1 misdemeanor.
A criminal background report for Perez-Melendez shows an eluding charge in July 2019 and other traffic violations.
The men are both set for status hearings on the second-degree murder charge at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Davison County Public Safety Center in Mitchell.