RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — More than a decade the decomposing body of 38-year-old woman was found in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the boyfriend accused of her murder took a plea offer the day before trial.
Meshell Will was reported missing in August 2013. Richard Schmitz, 55, was arrested in 2021 and charged with second-degree murder.
On Tuesday, he entered an Alford plea to second-degree manslaughter, a felony with up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
An Alfred plea acknowledges the state has enough evidence to convict him while maintaining his innocence.
In exchange, the state agreed to drop the second-degree murder charge, which carries a mandatory life sentence.