The second of the three people arrested in connection with the killing of a 16-year-old in Sioux Falls appeared before a Minnehaha County judge on Wednesday.
Ali Khalifa Ahmed, 16, pleaded not guilty to first degree murder, first and second degree attempted murder and attempted robbery during his arraignment at the Minnehaha County Courthouse. Ahmed appeared via video call from the county’s juvenile detention center. An Arabic-language interpreter and seven members of Ahmed’s family, including his parents, were present in the courtroom.
Ahmed’s bond was set at $500,000 cash-only, and Judge Jon Sogn ordered that he have no contact with Sembel Andom Sale, 18, Devon Montileaux, 17, and a third person who was present that night but hasn’t been charged. Police say Montileaux fired the bullet that killed 16-year-old Ephraim Duolo Shulue on Dec. 9 in Sioux Falls.
First-degree murder is a Class A felony with a mandatory sentence of life in prison if the person who commits the crime is over 18 at the time of the crime. Since Ahmed was 16, he can’t be sentenced to life in prison, but there is no limit on the years he can be sentenced to.
Ahmed’s defense petitioned the judge to have Ahmed released on a personal recognizance bond, given his age and lack of a criminal record. His attorney stated that Ahmed immigrated to the Unites States from Sudan in 2016 and has lived in and been apart of the Sioux Falls community without a criminal record. The prosecution argued that given the crime committed and Ahmed’s knowledge of the plan to rob Montileaux, the bond should stay as is.
“We have juveniles dying because other juveniles think they are invincible,” said Crystal Johnson with the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The judge kept Ahmed’s bond as set.
On Dec. 9, Shulue, Sale and Ahmed went to meet with Montileaux at the 900 Block of N. Cleveland Avenue for a drug deal. Shulue and Sale entered the back seat of Montileaux’s car and attempted to rob Montileaux and another person, police said. Eventually, Shulue and Sale exited the vehicle, and gunshots were fired amongst each other. A bullet from Montileaux’s gun struck and killed Shulue, police say.
Ahmed and Sale fled the scene and were arrested in late December in Sioux Falls during different incidents.