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Man sentenced to almost 5 years for 2017 East Glacier stabbing death

Posted at 4:58 PM, Aug 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-29 18:59:50-04

GREAT FALLS- William Arocha, Jr., was sentenced on Wednesday for the 2017 stabbing death of Shane LaPlant.

A jury in May 2018 found Arocha guilty of voluntary manslaughter for the death of LaPlant.

Arocha was sentenced to 56 months in federal prison. He is scheduled to serve his time at a facility in Colorado.

After he is released from prison, Arocha will be on supervised release for two years. He was also ordered to pay $4,271 in restitution.

Arocha was charged for the July 5, 2017, stabbing death in East Glacier.

During the trial, the prosecution showed a recorded interview between Arocha and special agent Steven Red Cloud of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs.

In the video, Arocha told Red Cloud he stabbed LaPlant once and LaPlant turned to leave. Arocha then went after LaPlant, and was on top of LaPlant when he stabbed him 25 more times.

Arocha took the stand and said he does not recall a lot of what happened that night. He said his statements have changed over the last ten months because he is scared he would never see his family again.

During closing arguments, the prosecution said that this case does not come down to “heat of passion.”

They say Arocha chased down LaPlant and stabbed him numerous times, showing premeditation.