Ronald Black Cloud Teen Killer Sentenced To 40 Years

Ronald Black Cloud

Ronald Black Cloud was a fourteen year old teen killer from Texas that would shoot and kill a man following an argument. According to court documents Ronald Black Cloud and an accomplice went to the victims home and asked if their son could join them outside however Cloud and his accomplice were denied entry as he had previously attempted to enter the home with alcohol. A fight would break out and Ronald Black Cloud would fatally shoot the victim 43 year old Nathan Graham. Ronald Black Cloud would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison, Texas State law prohibits sentencing juveniles to life in prison

Ronald Black Cloud 2023 Information

Ronald Black Cloud was just sentenced and yet to enter the Texas Department Of Criminal Justice

Ronald Black Cloud More News

An 18-year-old Rapid City man has been sentenced to 40 years in state prison for a fatal shooting in 2018.

A judge Monday sentenced Ronald Black Cloud in the death of 43-year-old Nathan Graham. Black Cloud was found guilty last October of second-degree murder for shooting Graham in the head, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Black Cloud was sentenced under a set of rules that prohibit minors from being sent to prison for life without a chance of parole. He was 14 when the crime was committed.

According to Pennington County State’s Attorney Mark Vargo, Black Cloud cannot be given a life sentence without parole due to a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that indicated how minors charged as adults can be sentenced. South Dakota state law has changed to align with these rulings.

Black Cloud will receive about 3 1/2 years of credit for time he has spent in the county jail.

Ross Johnson, who told Black Cloud to shoot Graham, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in last June after pleading guilty to aggravated assault and being an accessory to second-degree murder.

Ronald Black Cloud Other News

teenager accused of murder who has been incarcerated since August 2018 will likely remain in jail after a judge set his bond at $500,000 cash-only.

Ronald Black Cloud, wearing a navy blue scrub-like outfit with his hands cuffed in front of him, made his first appearance in adult court on Wednesday morning at the Pennington County Courthouse.

Black Cloud was 14 when he was charged with second-degree murder in juvenile court for the Aug. 17, 2018, fatal shooting of 43-year-old Nathan Graham. Graham, a father who owned a construction company and planned to hire troubled teens and adults with felonies, died the next day.

Prosecutors argued during a closed-door transfer hearing in December that Black Cloud, now 17, should be tried in adult court. Judge Matt Brown agreed.

Ross Johnson, now 19, was 17 when he was charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder as well as aggravated assault in the case. State law says minors who are 16 or older are automatically charged as adults when facing serious felony charges.

Johnson originally planned to request a transfer to juvenile court but later decided to stay in adult court. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault last week in exchange for testifying against Black Cloud if the younger teen takes his case to trial.

Prosecutor Angela Shute requested the $500,000 cash-only bond and a no contact order for Graham’s wife and stepson.

She said Black Cloud and Johnson had been shooting a handgun earlier in the day before going to Graham’s house to ask if his son wanted to spend time with them.

Shayla Colbert-Graham, Graham’s widow, previously told the Journal that Johnson was friends with their son but he wasn’t allowed to visit their house since they once caught him trying to break into the home with alcohol.

Colbert-Graham said she opened the door that day to find Johnson and Black Cloud, who she did not recognize. She said Johnson asked to see her son and she responded that he knows he’s not allowed at the house. Graham then came to the door to back her up.

Graham told the teens that they weren’t welcome at his house and a fight broke out between him and Johnson, Shute said. Johnson tossed the gun to Black Cloud who fired it twice as Graham was returning to his house. One of the shots hit Graham in the back of the head.

Johnson had told Black Cloud to shoot the gun, prosecutor Lara Roetzel previously told the Journal. Black Cloud fired once the fight was already over so there was no need to defend himself or Johnson, she said. 

An affidavit says Black Cloud told police that Johnson told him to fire the gun and a relative of Johnson said Johnson told them the same thing. Johnson told Graham when he arrived that he had a gun and would shoot everyone, the document also says.

Shute said her bond request was needed due to the serious nature of the offense. She did not comment on whether Black Cloud was a flight risk or danger to others.

Defense lawyer Joanna Lawler requested a “reasonable” bond but not a specific amount.

She said Black Cloud turned himself in to police, has already been detained for a long time, and is not a flight risk since he has supportive family members, some of whom attended the court hearing.

Magistrate Judge Todd Hyronimus agreed with the requests for the $500,000 cash-only bond and no contact orders.

A relative blew Black Cloud a kiss before deputies walked him away.

Black Cloud will continue to be detained at the juvenile jail until he is 18. Johnson, who is detained at the adult jail, could be sentenced up to 15 years in prison during his hearing on April 29.

If Black Cloud or Johnson had been convicted in juvenile court, the judge could have sentenced them to prison up until they were 21.

Adults convicted of second-degree murder face an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole. Minors charged in adult court must have the chance of parole but can be sentenced to any number of years, even as long as 261 years, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled.

Ronald Black Cloud Now

Ronald Black Cloud is currently incarcerated within the Texas Department Of Corrections

Ronald Black Cloud Release Date

Ronald Black Cloud is not eligible for release until 2060
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