St. Cloud Man Enters Guilty Plea in Sauk Rapids Murder [VIDEO]
FOLEY -- One of three men charged in a Sauk Rapids murder last February has pleaded guilty to an amended charge of aiding an offender and being an accessory after the fact. Thirty-eight-year-old Vance Laster made the plea Monday just before his jury trial was to begin.
Laster, 21-year-old Willie White, and 26-year-old Nokomis Jefferson were indicted on 1st-degree premeditated murder charges in the shooting death of 25-year-old Joe Ditthideth and the wounding of 29-year-old Nathan Phrachomphonh.
According to the criminal complaint, the group traveled to a St. Paul bar in the early morning hours of February 16th but returned to Sauk Rapids a few hours later. That's when surveillance audio and video caught the men arguing and gunshots being fired at 3466 Old Creek Place.
The victims were taken to the hospital where Ditthideth died from multiple gunshot wounds. Phrachomphonh suffered a gunshot wound to his abdomen and underwent successful surgery.
Jefferson and White are then accused of torching Ditthideth's car.
Benton County Attorney Philip Miller says the plea agreement calls for between 11-and-13 years in prison. Laster will be sentenced March 13th. As part of the plea agreement, all of the remaining charges against Laster are expected to be dismissed.
White and Jefferson are scheduled to go on trial in late February.