- Associated Press - Thursday, June 28, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A western South Dakota man accused of plotting his ex-girlfriend’s killing has lost a battle to have certain evidence thrown out in the murder-for-hire case.

Jonathon Klinetobe, 28, asked a judge last year to exclude from trial items that police seized from his Sturgis home and notes found in his Pennington County Jail cell. He argued that officers lacked probable cause for their search warrant and exceeded its scope.

Judge Heidi Linngren of the 7th Circuit denied Klinetobe’s requests earlier this month, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Klinetobe’s lawyers declined to comment on the judge’s decision at the June 12 hearing.

Klinetobe has pleaded not guilty to murder, kidnapping and conspiracy in the May 2015 stabbing death of Jessica Rehfeld. The 22-year-old’s body was found in a remote grave near Rockerville a year later. Authorities allege Klinetobe devised his ex-girlfriend’s killing and kept her body hidden until a witness contacted police about the plot.

Investigators allege the killing is linked to a report Rehfeld filed that said Klinetobe had assaulted her. Rehfeld also sought a protection order against him just days before she went missing, according to investigators.

The court will allow the items seized from Klinetobe’s home to be presented at his trial, including a necklace that authorities allege Rehfeld was wearing when she was killed. Police said they also found other items that may have belonged to Rehfeld, such as a purse, a cellphone and keys to her apartment.

Klinetobe’s trial hasn’t been scheduled yet.

Richard Hirth, 37, is accused of fatally stabbing Rehfeld and faces similar charges. He’s also awaiting trial. Three other men have pleaded guilty in connection to the killing, including one who pleaded guilty to murder.

Klinetobe and Hirth are being held at the Pennington County Jail in lieu of $2 million bond apiece.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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