TYNDALL, S.D. (KELO) — Francis Lange pleaded guilty but mentally ill Wednesday to three counts of murder and two counts of aggravated assault in the Scotland triple homicide case.
However, Wednesday afternoon, 43-year-old Lange admitted that he went into a Scotland home on November 9, 2021, and shot everyone inside. Lange fired 12 shots with a handgun before leaving it in a nearby yard.
According to court papers, he killed his former girlfriend, Angela Monclova, as well as Librado Monclova and Diane Akins. Two others, including a 5-year-old girl, were also injured in the shooting.
“Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims, especially the 5-year-old little girl that was seriously injured in the incident,” South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said.
Josette Lindahl, a psychiatrist for Avera Behavioral Health, testified at Wednesday’s hearing. Lindahl said she met with Lange three times for mental illness evaluation and diagnosed him with schizoaffective disorder. She added that alcohol and other substances make symptoms worse, which Lange was under the influence of when the homicide happened.
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says the guilty but mentally ill plea is the same as a guilty plea with one exception.
“He will still face three mandatory life, without the chance of parole, sentences, as well as the additional 30 years for the ag. assaults. The only difference that plea does, again, carry is that he will have further evaluation while incarcerated for mental illness and will receive appropriate treatment from the Department of Corrections,” Jackley said.
Jackley commends the work of paramedics, law enforcement and investigators from the day the crimes happened to now.
“This was a local effort with of the sheriff, the state’s attorney working with the attorney general to achieve the result to achieve some justice for the victim’s families today,” Jackley said.
Prosecutors have said they do not seek the death penalty in this case, which was a decision originally made by the former attorney general.
A sentencing hearing for Lange will be held on July 24.