RAPID CITY (AP) – A Pine Ridge man is expected to plead guilty to charges in a fatal ax attack, according to court documents related to a proposed plea agreement.
Emery Arapahoe plans to plead guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old Raymond Waters Jr. and to arson for setting a mobile home where Waters was sleeping on fire in 2017, the court records indicate.
Prosecutors plan to drop charges of first-degree burglary and larceny and request dismissal of assault charges in two other cases against Arapahoe, according to the Rapid City Journal. He faces up to life in prison if convicted of the murder and arson charges.
Arapahoe messaged the victim's uncle, Nathaniel Waters, on Oct. 16, 2017, about meeting up at his trailer in Allen, according to the factual basis document signed by the defendant. Arapahoe found Ray Waters sleeping on the couch in the living room, grabbed an ax he found inside the trailer and used it to hit him "multiple times" on the head and neck, the document said. The victim died from "multiple traumatic injuries."
He used materials from a bedroom to set fire to the trailer, fled in a pickup truck and soon crashed, according to the document. Evidence of the killing, including a bloody towel, fell out of the truck during the crash, the document said.
Arapahoe, 18, was initially charged in juvenile court but has since had his case moved to adult court. A motive for the killing has not been revealed.
Arapahoe's change of plea hearing has not yet been scheduled.