By Brett Nachtigall
HOT SPRINGS – A jury trial involving a murder case that was slated to take place in Fall River County Court from Oct. 26 – Nov. 6 was not held due to the charges being dismissed by the South Dakota’s Assistant Attorney General Scott Roetzel.
According to paperwork filed with the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court, the charges against Thomas P. Lucero, Jr., age 30, were dismissed due to the State’s Witness being unable to testify.
Lucero was indicted back on Sept. 15, 2017, and charged with First Degree Murder for the killing of Moses Dubray on January 11, 2017. The indictment also included two alternative counts of Second Degree Murder and Aggravated Assault. He plead not guilty to all three charges on Nov. 30, 2017. He is currently serving a 12-year sentence in the South Dakota Penitentiary for first-degree robbery in Minnehaha County.
According to some previously published newspaper reports, Dubray, then 32, was a work release inmate who was shot to death the day after walking away from a Rapid City detention center. His body was found along S.D. Highway 89 in Fall River County on Jan. 11, 2017. Dubray’s detention at the Rapid City Community Work Center was his assigned unit while serving a five-year burglary sentence.
Lucero was convicted on first-degree robbery charges in 2013. He was granted parole in 2015 and then violated the conditions of his parole. Lucero turned himself in on an active warrant as a parole absconder in January 2017.
Earlier this year, in February 2020, Lucero received some publicity after he dismissed two of his attorneys and decided to represent himself. The latest attorneys listed to be representing him at the time of the dismissal were Andrew Knecht and Michael W. Hanson.
According to a 2019 published report by the South Dakota Office of the Attorney General/Criminal Division, the state alleges, that Lucero and the victim, Dubray, are connected to the Sureno gang/Sinaloa drug cartel. They and a third person, the State’s eye witness, allegedly made a drug run to southern South Dakota. On the way back, the state claims Lucero forced the witness to pull over and the victim to exit the car. Lucero then is believed to have shot the victim once in the head.