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Forum News Service, Published May 07 2013

Death sentence weighed for South Dakota murder suspect

CHAMBERLAIN, S.D. -- Prosecutors will decide within a week whether to seek the death penalty for a man accused of killing a Mitchell woman in March.

Assistant Attorney General Bob Mayer, who participated Tuesday in a hearing at the Brule County Courthouse, is involved in the decision regarding the sentence sought for Kent Davidson.

“We have not made a decision,” Mayer said, “but we would not need a lot of time to make it.”

Judge Bruce Anderson gave Mayer until early next week to decide. Brule County State’s Attorney David Natvig is prosecuting the case with Mayer but did not appear at the hearing.

Davidson, 36, is accused of fatally shooting Crystal Schulz, 26, in the head with a shotgun March 11. Schulz’s body was found March 14 in a shed at her mother’s residence in rural Chamberlain. Davidson and Schulz were engaged to be married, according to their Facebook pages.

Davidson appeared in court Tuesday with his court-appointed attorney, Clint Sargent of Sioux Falls. He pleaded not guilty last month to first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter and committing a felony while armed with a firearm.

Anderson set Davidson’s trial for January.