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Seminole sentenced to 25 years in prison

Rochelle Seminole
Rochelle Seminole sentenced to 25 years in prison.(Pennington Co. Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 4:49 PM MST
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A Rapid City woman who pleaded guilty to killing her friend with her car back in 2019 is sentenced to 25 years in prison. Originally charged with first degree murder, 51-year old Rochelle Seminole pleaded guilty last month to vehicular homicide and aggravated assault in the death of 37-year old Kimberly Clifford of Rapid City.

The incident happened in the parking lot of the North LaCrosse Street Walmart. Pennington County chief deputy state’s attorney Lara Roetzel said Seminole’s blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit at noon that day and says Seminole and Clifford got into an argument. Roetzel said witnesses told police Seminole backed up and drove at Clifford, who got out of the way and was hit and killed when Seminole backed up at her a second time. Roetzel said most of the 23 witnesses to what happened said they felt it was intentional. Seminole’s attorney, John Murphy, said Seminole was not the instigator in the argument with Clifford and says she did not hit her with the car intentionally but takes full responsibility for what happened. Seminole told Clifford’s family that she was sorry, saying she never meant for this to happen and that she would never run over somebody. She asked them to forgive her. Judge Craig Pfeifle sentenced Seminole to consecutive sentences of 15 years each on the vehicular homicide and assault charges, suspending five years of the assault sentence.