A 26-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday, Jan. 5 to murder as part of an agreement with prosecutors that would see him spend two decades behind bars.
Reginald Toussaint pleaded guilty in Northwest District Court to a class AA felony charge of murder. He was arrested in September 2019 and accused of shooting and killing Cesar Pineda outside a Williston hotel.
In a short hearing Tuesday, Steven Mottinger, Toussaint’s public defender, said he and his client had discussed the possibility of arguing the shooting was in self-defense, but instead agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. The deal the two sides agreed on would see Toussaint sentenced to 30 years in prison with 10 years suspended.
Police and prosecutors said Toussaint shot and killed Pineda after an argument outside the Days Inn in Williston. Nathan Madden, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, said it appeared there had been a disagreement about work and Toussaint felt he had been disrespected.
“This is unfortunately the outcome we had here, Your Honor,” Madden told Northwest District Judge Kirsten Sjue.
Sjue ordered a presentence investigation before scheduling a sentencing hearing. Because of the agreement, she will be able to accept it or reject it, but not alter the terms.
Toussaint’s guilty plea resolves another of the homicide cases that were filed in 2019. In December, a judge gave a time-served sentence to Rasul Shaw Jr. after he pleaded guilty to negligent homicide as part of an agreement with prosecutors. He had been charged with murder after police said he stabbed Ricky Waitman to death in a Williston apartment in September 2019.
Also in December, a judge sentenced Justin Crites to serve three years in prison for manslaughter. Crites was convicted in August of manslaughter in connection with the death of Jay LePage outside a Williston bar in May 2019.
In October, a judge accepted a plea agreement that saw Ian Laboyd sentenced to 10 years for manslaughter and aggravated assault. He was charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the shooting death of Matthew York and the wounding of Parker Haider.
Also in October, Tank McMillin pleaded guilty to child abuse and was sentenced to three and a half years in prison. He was accused of child abuse related to the death of his newborn son in a Williston hotel room in April 2019. His wife, Hannah McMillin, was originally charged with child abuse, but that charge was changed to murder. Her trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 15.
In May, Samuel Hamilton was sentenced to 10 years in prison for criminal vehicular homicide after he pleaded guilty to the charge. He was attested in April 2019 after a crash that killed a 16-year-old WHS student.
The cases of Hannah McMillin, accused of killing her infant son in April 2019, and Steven Charles Rademacher, who is accused of murder, attempted murder and terrorizing, are still pending. Rademacher was arrested in July 2019 and accused of running down and killing a man after an argument. His trial is scheduled for March.