A lesson from the heartInmate wants his sentence to be a message
By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Today Correspondent
RAPID CITY – Inmate Carlos Christopher Quevedo, 18, is set to be sentenced next week for second degree murder after pleading guilty in November 2017 for the brutal stabbing death of convenience store clerk, Kasie Lord, 45. Claiming not to remember the actual robbery and stabbing incident, Quevedo, along with accomplice Cody Grady, had gone into Loaf n Jug on Mount Rushmore Road in the early morning hours of January 18, 2017, in order to steal beer. When confronted at the door by Lord, a struggle ensued and she was stabbed repeatedly in the back, side and front of her torso. During the day of January 18, 2017, Quevedo had been taking Coricidin (commonly referred to as “Triple C’s” on the streets for those who use this over the counter medication to get high), drinking vodka, smoking marijuana and eventually consuming Robitussin (cough syrup) mixed with Sprite. According to Quevedo’s father, Chris Yellow Eagle, his son accepts the guilt of his actions and does not want to excuse his crime simply by stating that he was high or drunk. The father and son would like others to know of the dangerous cocktail of alcohol and cough medicine this generation is using in order to achieve a relatively inexpensive and uncontrollable high. The ingredient in the Coricidin HBP Cough and Cold Pills which creates the euphoric feelings, or high, is called dextromethorphan, or DXM. This cough suppressant is effective for cold and flu, but taken in large amounts will cause a chemical imbalance in the brain. On the day when Kasie Lord was murdered, Quevedo has admitted to taking 16 tablets of Coricidin at the beginning of his active use on that day.
According to Quevedo, “Coricidin cough and cold pills, also known as Triple C’s are not like any controlled substance that requires a prescription to obtain. What makes these pills deadly is they contain a drug called dextromethorphan. This can cause the user to experience blackouts, euphoria, sensory changes, hallucinations, and at high doses cause “Robo-Trippin’, more commonly known to youth.” Both Quevedo and Grady have been charged with first degree robbery and second degree murder. Quevedo has pleaded guilty in November 2017 and has accepted his guilt, according to his father Chris Yellow Eagle. Yellow Eagle has reached out to Native Sun News Today to express his concerns for how his son has been portrayed by local media in Rapid City. He feels Quevedo has already been sentenced in the court of public opinion, based on media portrayals which denounce his son’s life. As an addict and incarcerated father, Yellow Eagle admits he was “in and out of my son’s life”. Raised on the reservation by his Aunt Steph Two Crow, Great Grandma Anne Two Crow and Jason Wilcox, Quevedo was exposed and taught the Lakota values system through prolonged visits with elders and spending time with horses. Spoiled by his grandmothers, Quevedo “always showed respect for his elders. That’s one thing I’ve always noticed about my son. He was never one to be out starting any kind of trouble; even as kids he was more generous than anything,” said the father who is currently housed in the Pennington County Jail on a federal hold for a parole violation for possession of a controlled substance. Both father and son are currently being housed in the same Rapid City jail for crimes related to addiction. According to Yellow Eagle, his son Carlos was a helpful and respectful young man who enjoyed camping and fishing with his relatives. Like many boys who are raised in a grandparent’s home, chores was not a choice but a daily duty doled out by the matriarch. “Carlos was always with his grandmas, helping out around the house or attending church on Sundays with his grandma DeAnn,” said the father.
Yellow Eagle shared stories of attending low rider shows, visits to the zoo and other outings with his son which highlight the pair’s desire to bond and make up for time lost during periods of incarceration or direct drug abuse by the father which prevented contact and father/son experiences. As a means of directing his energy in a positive manner, Quevedo took up boxing and training at a local boxing club at the age of 13. “I think it was the big green Incredible Hulk gloves back then that got him going on boxing to keep his mind focused and steer away from the footsteps of his father’s addiction. Boxing was a whole new world to Carlos,” said Yellow Eagle. Quevedo invited others to participate in the boxing training to channel the negative energy developed over the years and “to prepare mentally and stay focused on positive outcomes in life.” According to the father, it was his son’s relationship to his grandmothers and his family which kept him away from the many perils associated with the streets in Rapid City. This includes gang activity. “As a father, I applaud my son for following the positive path at that very young age and not becoming involved in gangs. Carlos always maintained a positive attitude and outlook on life.” Despite his current situation, Quevedo remains positive and hopeful for the future according to his father. The pair has been turning their circumstances around to help others. “Carlos has a promising future no matter the environment and conditions. Carlos has shown commitment and continuing his education and recently became a Director in a non-profit organization named, ‘Forgiveness from Micante’ (my heart in the Lakota language), said Yellow Eagle.
Before succumbing to the dark side of addiction and the violence associated with the need to fill those cravings, Quevedo had a bright future. The high school graduate was planning on joining the United States Air Force in order to follow in his Great Grandfather, Matthew Yellow Eagle, Sr’s. footsteps. Quevedo twice took the ASVAB tests, first scoring too low for consideration for the armed services, but on his second test scored remarkably high, according to his father. “Graduating high school was one of the most important goals. I earned that diploma to satisfy one of his many goals but also for my family and to encourage other youth to stay focused on education,” said Quevedo in a letter sent to Native Sun News Today. The fear and anxiety of awaiting a sentence for second degree murder can be overwhelming; especially when the judge in the case has shown interest in sentencing Quevedo to a term in which a possible parole date would far exceed his life. Second degree murder has maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, but because Quevedo was a minor at the time, this penalty is not applicable. Forgiveness from Micante was started by the father/son duo as collaboration to focus on “forgiveness of one’s self and also being forgiven at some point in their lives, being remorseful of our own actions. We must understand our actions and set goals; which is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible and will build our organization’s foundation for all victims of crime,” said Yellow Eagle. The pair hopes to bring healing to not only their victims, but the victims of other perpetrators by building bridges of communication to foster forgiveness and rehabilitation for the guilty. “This organization will not be limited to just this tragedy, but will be open to working with all inmates, rebuilding after tragedy,” said the father. Addiction and being intoxicated is not an excuse for a crime, but rather an explanation for the person’s mind at the time the crime was committed. Rehabilitation for addiction in county, state and federal prisons is limited. Many times, addicts find the sources or alternative substances to feed their addictions once locked up. The substitute drug makes due until they are back on the streets to find their drug of choice. Carlos Quevedo’s life serves as an explanation for the devastation legal and illegal drugs have played in our community over the decades. In a town and state working on race relations, Quevedo’s crime will likely be punished to the fullest extent of the law. He will likely become a ward of the state for the remainder of his life; added to the thousands of inmate numbers which don’t define them as addicted Native Americans. The only constant in this story is that addiction will continue to go untreated and crimes will continue to occur as a result. According to the grieving father, “Carlos has shifted his focus on rehabilitation for himself and to lead others towards productive rehabilitation. Carlos and his newly co-founded organization consist of the disciplines of forgiveness, spirituality, mind, body, soul exercises, transition and redeeming himself and others through the habituation and addiction of our most vulnerable youth.” Carlos Christopher Quevedo is scheduled to be sentenced at the Pennington County Courthouse on March 22, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. Contact Native Sun News Today Correspondent Richie Richards at email@example.com Copyright permission Native Sun News Today