Mitch Caffee sentenced to life in prison for October shooting death of wife's grandmother
“Life sentences are reserved for the most heinous of crimes," said Deputy Attorney General Brent Kempema.
WESSINGTON SPRINGS, S.D. — A judge in Jerauld County handed down a life sentence to a Wessington Springs man who killed his wife's grandmother in October.
Mitch Caffee, 39, was sentenced Wednesday morning after pleading guilty to one count of first-degree manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of 90-year-old Lorraine Redmann.
The conviction stems from the early morning hours of Oct. 24, 2021, when Caffee broke into his Redmann's home in Wessington Springs to confront his wife about a prior arrest of his.
Court documents indicate that days prior, Caffee was arrested by police after violating a no-contact order that was put in place between the two by spending the night at his wife's home.
While inside, Redmann was awoken by the commotion. When she attempted to grab a phone, Caffee shot her in the head, killing her.
Following a brief standoff, in which Caffee allegedly held his wife hostage, Caffee surrendered without further incident.
After nearly 10 months of court proceedings, Jerauld County State's Attorney Dedrich Koch said he hopes the life sentence will bring some closure to Redmann's family and the community.
“Mitch Caffee’s actions resulted in the tragic death of a well-respected member of the community. Lorraine Redman will be missed by not only her family, but to all who knew her,” Koch said. “The hope is this sentence will bring some closure to the family in this very difficult case.”
In a statement, Deputy Attorney General Brent Kempema said a life sentence was deserved in the case.
“Life sentences are reserved for the most heinous of crimes. Judge [Patrick] Pardy recognized that what Caffee did on [Oct.] 24, 2021, fit that category of crime and pronounced what we believe an appropriate sentence,” Kempema said.
Attorney General Mark Vargo said the joint investigation, which involved four separate law enforcement agencies, is what made the conviction possible.
“I’m extremely proud of the teamwork involved from beginning to end in both the investigation and prosecution of this horrific crime,” Vargo said. “My hat’s off to all involved.
Originally booked on 25 felony charges, Caffee pleaded not guilty to eight felonies in December, electing not to enter a plea to 17 others.
In June, Caffee accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter for the death of Redmann and aggravated assault in regard to his wife.
A 15-year prison sentence for the assault will be served concurrently to the life sentence. Restitution was also ordered in the amount of $18,621.90.
Caffee will serve his sentence at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.