BEADLE COUNTY - Two men are in custody and charged with first degree murder in the death of 49 year-old Keith Houck, a resident of Beadle County.
Fifty year-old Kevin Krueger arrived at the Beadle County Jail on June 3 and 32 year-old Jose Antonio Vega was arrested in Montevideo Minnesota.
According to police, a witness reported Vega hitting Houck over the head with an object at Krueger's Beadle County residence on May 31. Two days later Krueger turned himself in and made a statement implicating himself and Vega for the crime.
"It was apparent from what we observed that he had been beaten to death," says Michael Moore, Beadle County's State Attorney. "He did undergo an autopsy this morning which revealed multiple fractures."
Police held off telling residents about the crime so they could catch Vega and make sure he was no longer a threat to the public.
"We were afraid that if the information leaked out he may take off or hurt someone else so we had to keep it quiet until we had a good feel of who that was," says Moore.
The motive behind the attack is unclear, but Moore believes drugs played a role. According to Moore, Vega supplied Methamphetamine to Krueger. They are still investigating how Houck became involved.
Residents who knew Krueger say this whole incident is shocking. Friends of the victim are also surprised at his death.
"Keith was a great person he was fun to be around," says Tonya Carlson, a former classmate of Houck. "He was super fun and we had a lot of great memories with Keith."
Krueger made his first court appearance today. He is being held on a $500,000 cash bond. Vega is currently awaiting extradition back to Beadle County for his hearing. Krueger's next court appearance is on June 14.