Trio Accused Of Contract Killing Plead Not Guilty

Jun 14, 2016

Police say Jessica Rehfeld, of Rapid City was murdered last year.
Credit RCPD

Three men accused of stabbing a woman to death last year and hiding her body in a shallow grave near Rockerville have pleaded not guilty to a variety of charges against them, including first-degree murder. 

The three are facing life in prison or the death penalty for the apparent contract killing of  22-year-old Jessica Rehfeld .  Investigators accuse Jonathon Klinetobe, Rehfeld's ex-boyfriend, of offering David Schneider and Richard Hirth money to kill Rehfeld.  Two other men charged as accessories to the murder have also pleaded not guilty. Klinetobe, Hirth, and Schneider are scheduled to appear for evidentiary hearings on June 20.  Story from May 27, 2016  below. 

A Pennington County grand jury has indicted three men accused in the contract killing of a Rapid City woman.

Jonathon Klinetobe, of Sturgis, Richard Hirth, of Rapid City, and David Schneider, also from Rapid City, face a number of charges, including first degree murder. 

Last week, the three were arrested for the killing of Jessica Rehfeld. Police officials allege Klinetobe hired Hirth and Schneider to kill Rehfeld in May 2015. First degree murder carries a minimum sentence of life in prison and a maximum of the death penalty.

Initial story from May 17, 2016 below.

Rapid City Police have charged three men with first-degree murder in what they call a contract killing. Police made the arrests after a witness came forward to identify the gravesite of a Rapid City woman missing since last year.

The body of 22 year old Jessica Rehfeld, of Rapid City was found in forest land near the town of Rockerville on Friday, May 13th.   

Police say Rehfeld’s ex-boyfriend, Jonathon Klinetobe hired two men, David Schneider and Richard Hirth to drive Rehfeld to a secluded area in Rapid City in May of last year, where they then stabbed her to death.

Captain James Johns is with the Rapid City Police Department.

“In 20 years of my law enforcement experience this is the first contract killing that I have been involved with,” says Johns.  “Beyond that, I know there have been other plots that have been interrupted or foiled before the murder takes place.   But, in my career I think this is the only murder for hire that we’ve seen completed,” Johns adds.

Police say two other men, Michael Frye and Garland Brown, helped bury the victim and have been charged with accessory to first degree murder.

The three men charged with Rehfeld’s murder made their first appearance in court on Tuesday morning, each are held on a $2 milllion cash only bond. The two accessories face an initial hearing Wednesday.