Sioux Falls murder suspect and victim had been friends

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – Sioux Falls police say a suspect and a homicide victim who died Monday were friends.

Authorities have charged 28-year-old Mark Lovejoy with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Police allege Lovejoy beat 45-year-old Rodney Ironhawk outside of a motel Monday night.

Officers found Ironhawk lying unresponsive outside the motel and took him to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.

Police say officers found Lovejoy inside a room in the motel. He also allegedly assaulted Ironhawk’s girlfriend, who had tried to stop the fight.

Capt. Blaine Larson says Ironhawk and the woman had been drinking with Lovejoy in the motel room before an argument broke out.

Larson says Lovejoy’s blood-alcohol content at the time of his arrest was “substantial.”

It’s unclear whether Lovejoy has an attorney.
AP-WF-01-27-16