The last of three people arrested in connection to the last homicide in Sioux Falls of 2020 has changed her plea and been sentenced.
Crystal Lorraine Mousseau, 29, of Sioux Falls had a change of plea hearing and sentencing Thursday at the Minnehaha County Courthouse.
She was initially charged with first-degree murder, robbery and attempted robbery, according to court documents.
Her charges stemmed from the shooting death of Mitchell James Houchins, 30, of Sioux Falls, on Dec. 28, 2020, near West Pine Meadows Place and West Sandalwood Place.
On Thursday, Mousseau took a plea deal and pled guilty to being a habitual offender and had her other charges dropped.
Mousseau was sentenced to 30 years at the state penitentiary with 12 years suspended. She will also get credit for just over a year served in jail, according to court documents.
The other two people sentenced in connection to Houchins’ death were Josue Emmanuel Hernandez, 22, of Sioux Falls, who pulled the trigger, and Susan Alice Sanchez, 30, of Sioux Falls, who drove Hernandez and Mousseau back from Colorado.
During the trio’s court hearings it was revealed Hernandez and Mousseau were “hooking up” and that Mousseau planned for Hernandez to rob Houchins of his money. The robbery attempt ended in Hernandez killing Houchins.
Hernandez got 80 years in the state penitentiary with 30 years suspended and credit for nearly a year served, according to prior reporting by the Argus Leader.
Sanchez got 10 years in prison with 7 years suspended and credit for nearly a year served in jail for her accessory to felony charge, according to court documents.
Why were the trio charged?
Houchins was shot and left for dead in the middle of the street in western Sioux Falls.
The victim laid in the streets for 25 minutes before someone called police, according to prior reporting by the Argus Leader.
“It’s a sad way to die alone in the streets,” said Minnehaha State’s Attorney Daniel Hagar during Hernandez’s sentencing.
According to court documents, Mousseau told police Hernandez was mad at Houchins for “taking $1,000 off one of his friends,” and was planning to rob him of some money. Mousseau told detectives she didn’t see Hernandez’s gun, but knew he had one on him.
It was revealed during Hernandez’s sentencing hearing that Mousseau contacted Houchins to meet up with the intention of robbing him with the help of Hernandez.
Hernandez and Houchins were in a black vehicle near the scene where Houchins was found dead. Mousseau told detectives she saw Hernandez exit the vehicle and enter a silver Kia Forte she and the victim arrived in. Mousseau then saw Houchins exit the black vehicle and collapse in the street, according to court documents. Everybody fled the scene afterward.
Mousseau and Hernandez fled to Denver in the silver Kia Forte previously driven by Houchins.
Their car was towed in Henderson, Colorado. Afterward, the pair called Sanchez to pick them up, and they told her about the incident. Both Hernandez and Sanchez wanted to flee to Texas or California, but Mousseau demanded to return to Sioux Falls, court documents said.
The trio were arrested in separate incidents in January 2021. With Mousseau’s sentencing all three people initially arrested for Houchins’ death have been sentenced.
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