Man sentenced for 2017 East Glacier stabbing death

Posted at 9:13 AM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 11:13:13-04

GREAT FALLS – A man was sentenced on Wednesday for a 2017 stabbing death in East Glacier.

A jury found William Arocha, Jr. of voluntary manslaughter for the death of Shane LaPlant back in May.

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

Arocha will be on supervised release for two years after getting out of prison. 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.

Arocha told Red Cloud in the video that 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.