Days before fatal shooting, Wessington Springs murder suspect asked wife where handgun was kept, police say

Though the wife said she didn't believe Caffee would hurt their children, she expressed her nervousness to return home.

Jerauld County Courthouse 1.JPG
The Jerauld County Courthouse is located on Wallace Avenue in Wessington Springs. (Mitchell Republic file photo)

WESSINGTON SPRINGS — Five days before a fatal shooting that resulted in the death of a 90-year-old Wessington Springs woman, murder suspect Mitch Caffee had suggested that his wife shoot him with a shotgun and asked her where in the house a handgun was, according to a no-contact order violation arrest report.

Caffee, 38, is currently facing first-degree murder charges in connection with the shooting death of Lorraine Redmann in the early hours of Oct. 24. Arrest affidavits from that night allege that Caffee violated his bond conditions — which stem from an Aug. 31 domestic assault case — by kicking in the door of the residence where his wife planned to spend the night.

On Oct. 20, just days before the shooting, a deputy with the Jerauld County Sheriff's Office said they received a call from Caffee's wife to report that Caffee had violated the no-contact order on Oct. 19.

The woman alleged that after she expressed her desire to end her relationship with Caffee, he got upset and entered a "cycle" of self-blame and threatening to "sell everything and leave," before calming down briefly, vomiting and repeating. She said this cycle of behavior continued until he fell asleep around midnight.

The woman said Caffee refused to leave the home, and acted in a sense that made her "very jumpy." She claims at one point, Caffee clapped her hands which almost made her jump out of her chair. Thought she made it clear Caffee never hit or hurt her that night, she alleges he tried to hug her but had to push him away.


The wife told deputies that she was aware Caffee was not allowed at the residence, and claimed he suggested she should "get the shotgun and shoot (Caffee)" so it would look like self-defense. She also said Caffee had asked her where in the residence a handgun was located.

The violation report does not mention the type of weapon Caffee was seeking, though it's alleged he shot and killed Redmann with a .40-caliber handgun.

The wife told authorities that Caffee ended up staying the night and even took their kids to school the following morning. She alleged that Caffee had violated the no-contact order multiple times before, but had not hurt her or their children and had not spent the night.

Though the woman said she didn't believe Caffee would hurt their children, she expressed her nervousness to return home, citing her personal safety. She was primarily concerned about about Caffee involving the children in a "dangerous or bad situation" while addressing the bond violation.

Read more crime stories in the Mitchell Republic's Crime and Courts section

Caffee was later located in Wessington Springs with Elliot Hook, a 65-year-old Wessington Springs man sentenced to prison in 2015 for distributing Vicodin in Jerauld County. Caffee's children were not present.

Caffee was arrested on a charge of violating a no-contact order and was transported to the Beadle County Jail, where he paid a $2,500 cash bond for his release the following day.

After his Oct. 21 release, he was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his wife's grandmother, Lorraine Redmann, on Oct. 24.


Caffee is currently being held in the Beadle County Jail in Huron on a $1 million bond. He's set for an arraignment on charges from the alleged Oct. 24 shooting in a Jerauld County Courtroom on Friday.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Sioux Falls Live, with a primary focus on crime and Sioux Falls and government in Lincoln County.
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