- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota inmate serving a 75-year sentence on rape and sexual contact charges involving children was indicted Thursday on allegations that he killed his cellmate at the State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls.

The grand jury’s indictment charges Douglas Ipsen, 28, with alternate counts of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter for the death of convicted killer Kent Davidson. Ipsen could be convicted on one of those three charges.

The 37-year-old Davidson, whose body was found in his cell, died from strangulation and asphyxia, according to his death certificate. He was hurt late on Sept. 7 and died early on Sept. 8. Authorities said a bedsheet was used in the slaying.

Attorney General Marty Jackley would not discuss details of the investigation including motive. It’s unclear whether Ipsen has an attorney.

Ipsen is serving 60 years for first-degree rape of a child and an additional 15 years for sexual contact with a child under the age of 16, both out of Butte County. He arrived at the penitentiary on September 2010.

The South Dakota Department of Corrections had deemed Ipsen a “low moderate” risk, while Davidson was assessed as a “moderate” risk. The men became cellmates April 30.

Since the killing, Ipsen is being housed in a single-cell at a disciplinary unit of the penitentiary’s Jameson Annex, Corrections Department spokeswoman Mandy Nielsen said.

Davidson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in April in the 2013 shooting death of his girlfriend Crystal Schulz. Her body was found in a shed at her mother’s rural Chamberlain residence, and Davidson was arrested hours later after a standoff with police.

Schulz and Davidson were engaged, but court documents show that Schulz was ending the relationship.

Davidson’s mother, Pamela Davidson, told The Associated Press on Monday that she’s now lost both of her children. Her younger son, Travis, was killed in a car crash six years ago this month.

The woman, who lives in Jamestown, North Dakota, said she hadn’t spoken to her son, Kent, in about three years and said the hardest part is she wasn’t able to say goodbye. His body was cremated in Sioux Falls before it was sent to North Dakota.

In addition to murder charges, Davidson also was serving a five-year sentence for forgery out of Tripp County and a five-year sentence for second-degree escape out of Minnehaha County.

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