Man gets forty years for brutal killing of Box Elder woman

Five family members spoke on behalf of Bartolotta at the sentencing hearing.
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 1:27 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Seventh Circuit Judge Matthew Brown handed down a 40-year prison sentence to Jamie Prince, 44, for what he described as a “horrific and animalistic act.” Prince beat Shirley Bartolotta, 61, to death at her Box Elder home on August 31, 2022. In September of this year, he pled guilty but mentally ill to first-degree manslaughter. As part of the plea agreement, the state agreed not to recommend more than 40 years in prison.

Senior Deputy State’s Attorney Jason Thomas said Prince’s horrific act left her family unable to have an open casket due to the extent of her injuries. Thomas argued that while no term of years could truly suffice, a 40-year sentence was critical to protect the community from the defendant.

Per the agreement, Judge Brown could have sentenced Prince to less prison time but not more than 40 years. Calling it one of the most “gruesome attacks” he had ever seen, Judge Brown chose to send Prince to the penitentiary for the entire 40 years. He said Mr. Prince had an unpayable debt and told Bartolotta’s family that nothing he could say or do would bring the closure and peace that her family deserved.

Five family members spoke on behalf of Bartolotta at the sentencing hearing.

This case was prosecuted by Senior Deputy State’s Attorney Jason Thomas and Senior Deputy State’s Attorney Adam Shiffermiller.

For further information, contact Public Information Officer Katy Urban at (605) 390-1182.

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