Judge sets trial on Rhines death sentence appeal - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Judge sets trial on Rhines death sentence appeal

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A judge scheduled a November trial on a convicted murderer's request to reopen his death-penalty case.

Charles Rhines has filed a petition claiming that South Dakota's death penalty law is unconstitutional. He says prosecutors violated his rights, and that his defense attorney made mistakes when Rhines was being sentenced.

Rhines was convicted of murder and sentenced to death for the March 1992 stabbing death of Donnivan Schaeffer at a Rapid City doughnut shop. Schaeffer, 22, worked at the shop and interrupted Rhines during a burglary.

Donnivan Schaeffer's parents, Ed and Peggy Schaeffer, attended a hearing Tuesday at which Circuit Judge Thomas Trimble set a Nov. 26 trial date.

Peggy Schaeffer says the couple doesn't want to have to go through another sentencing trial.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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