Suspects in Sioux Falls double homicide appear in court

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - The two people accused in the deaths of two Sioux Falls men after a drug rip gone bad last month were in court Thursday.

Manuel Frias and Maria LeClaire are both back in Sioux Falls after fleeing to other states.

This was LeClaire's second appearance in a Sioux Falls courtroom, but Thursday was Frias' first appearance.

He was extradited from the Dakota County Jail in Nebraska and arrived in Sioux Falls Wednesday afternoon.

LeClaire was back in court for another arraignment after being indicted by a grand jury, and is now also charged with misprision of felony,
which means knowing information about a felony and not reporting it.

She faced a judge Thursday morning where she learned her half charge of first degree attempted robbery -- a class 2 felony -- for aiding and abetting and attempting to rob Samuel Crockett with a dangerous weapon could land her in the state prison for 12 and a half years and a $25,000 fine if she is convicted.

The misprision charge carries up to a year and a $2,000 fine.

But that is not all. LeClaire has a part two notation on her record for habitually offending. She has three prior felonies.

If she is convicted of the robbery and misprision, it could double her sentence.

LeClaire's trial was set for the week of May 7. She is being held on a $500,000 bond in the the South Dakota Women's Prison in Pierre.

Frias made his first appearance in Sioux Falls. He appeared nervous and was quiet. He only responded, "yes" to the judge when he was asked questions.

Frias asked for a legal aid attorney and was appointed one.

The charges against him are first-degree murder, second-degree murder and four counts of manslaughter. If convicted of first-degree murder, Frias could face life in prison or even death; the second-degree murder charge comes with a mandatory life sentence and the four counts of manslaughter can carry up to life in prison. All three counts each also carry a possible $50,000 fine.

Frias is being held on a $1,000,000 cash-only bond in the Minnehaha County Jail. The state asked the judge to uphold it and his attorney did not oppose.

He's due back in court for a preliminary hearing in 15 days.