Survivors testify in court almost 3 years after an attempted murder attack

Allac 'AJ' Dismounts Thrice
Allac 'AJ' Dismounts Thrice(Gray)
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 8:10 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A Rapid City man charged with first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree attempted murder was back in court Monday.

Allac ‘A.J.’ Dismounts Thrice is charged with killing Richard Montanez, and the attempted murder of Jessalyn Cook and Cody Good Soldier with a hammer in September 2020.

Rapid City police and Box Elder police gave their testimonies, the officers said that Dismounts Thrice was apprehended on Meadow Drive in Box Elder. When Dismounts Thrice was taken into custody, he was shirtless and carrying a tote that was filled with garbage and suspicious fluid. Dismounts Thrice was said to be incoherent and was being uncooperative and aggressive.

Due to Dismounts Thrice’s uncooperative nature, he had to be secured in a wrap, which is where they secure the legs and arms of the person, as well as a spit mask so that he is unable to hurt any of the officers. When he was being transported to the Pennington County Jail, his shoes had to be removed.

After the officers testified, the prosecution brought out forensic specialists. Forensic specialists stated that the shoes Dismounts Thrice was wearing at the time had blood on them of one of the victims, as well as his own.

Both female survivors also testified.

Jessalyn Cook, one of the victims, has been in a wheelchair ever since the accident and said that she has been relearning how to walk, eat solid foods, and write. Cook said that it has been a long road of recovery, saying she only recently was able to regain control of her left leg, and still has no feeling or control in her left arm. Cook said that she misses walking the most and relearning to walk has been the hardest part of her journey. Cook stated that she used to have nightmares about the night, but no longer has nightmares. Lastly, she stated that while this was a tragic event, it taught her what to be grateful for and helped her learn what she doesn’t want to do again in her life.

Cody Good Soldier, the other female victim, has to walk with a cane and has been legally blind in her left eye ever since the event. Good Soldier’s mother said that she isn’t anything like what she used to be, going on to say that she now acts more like a young child than the woman she is. Good Soldier went on to say the first thing she remembers after the attack is waking up at rehab. She has had to learn how to walk again and suffers from short-term memory loss. She says that after this event she feels sad and angry because she is unable to do any of the things she was able to do before the accident, but she is happy to be living with her mother and kids.

The last testimony was from one of the lead investigators on the case, and an audio recording from Dismounts Thrice’s initial interview. The investigator said that Dismounts Thrice admitted that he had a backpack but it was someone else’s, who then told Dismounts Thrice to ‘get rid of it’.

In the recording of Dismounts Thrice’s interview, he said multiple times that he wanted to go back to his cell, before asking what his charges are. When told the charges are murder and attempted murder, Dismounts Thrice said ‘attempted for what? On who?’, the investigator responded with ‘Cody and Jess,’ to which Dismounts Thrice said “No. No.”

Closing arguments are expected to happen either Tuesday or Wednesday.