TYNDALL, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota man has pleaded not guilty to fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend, her father and another woman and wounding his ex-girlfriend's mother and a young child.
Francis Lange, 42, entered the pleas Tuesday in Bon Homme County Circuit Court to charges that include three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and committing a felony while armed with a gun. The Nov. 9 attack occurred in Scotland, a small community in southeastern South Dakota, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) southwest of Sioux Falls.
According to court documents, prosecutors allege Lange went to the home of his ex-girlfriend Angela Monclova and fatally shot her, her father Librado Monclova, and Diane Akins. He also shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend’s mother, Vicki Monclova, and a 5-year-old girl, according to a criminal complaint. Authorities haven’t publicly identified the child.
Lange's attorneys, Seth Klentz of Beresford and Raleigh Hansman of Sioux Falls, said they will seek a mental evaluation of their client.
Judge Cheryle Gering set a Feb. 28 deadline for the state to decide whether to seek the death penalty on the three first-degree murder charges, the Yankton Press and Dakotan reported. Lange has requested a jury trial. Gering scheduled jury selection to begin Oct. 19.
The shooting took place at a Scotland residence where Lange had once lived with his former girlfriend. Despite her wounds, Vicki Monclova managed to make it on foot to her son Anthony Monclova’s house, authorities said. Another son, Jacob Monclova, went to his sister’s home and discovered the crime scene. He found the wounded girl crying in a bedroom, scooped her up and ran from the house.
When law enforcement and paramedics arrived, Librado and Angela Monclova were already dead, officials said. Akins was taken to a local hospital and was later pronounced dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
Vicki Monclova and the child were taken by helicopter to a Sioux Falls hospital.
Lange is being held in the Bon Homme County Jail in Tyndall.