The man who fired 7 shots into a house on the Pine Ridge Reservation in January of last year, killing one of its occupants, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison.
34-year old Ricky Bagola had pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree murder in the death of 30-year-old Casey Weston in Pine Ridge.
The defense had asked for a 15-year sentence, saying Bagola feels “incredibly remorseful” about Weston’s death while the prosecution asked for 25 years because of Bagola’s extensive career as a drug dealer on the reservation.
Federal District Judge Jeffrey Viken surprised both sides by instead handing down the 35-year term. Viken noted the “multigenerational expression of grief” shown by the Weston family.
Multiple family members praised his dedication to Lakota spiritual traditional and how his four children will be affected by growing up without a father.
Federal prosecutors say Bagola had driven to the house after his girlfriend accused someone there of not giving her enough methamphetamine for the price she’d paid.
They say Bagola knocked on the doors and windows of the house, then when no one answered he fired 7 shots inside. Two of the rounds hit Weston, who was not mentioned by investigators as being involved in the drug deal in any manner.