KXLG: Watertown resident pleads guilty to 1st-degree manslaughter

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 1:20 PM CDT
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WATERTOWN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - According to KXLG News, a Watertown resident pled guilty to one count of manslaughter 1st-degree, a class 6 felony that is punishable with up to life in prison.

The suspect, Amanda Walder, was initially charged with second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree manslaughter, aggravated battery of an infant, and abuse/cruelty of a minor under seven years of age.

Walder entered a plea agreement with the prosecution to have the four charges dropped in exchange for her guilty plea. She now faces one count of manslaughter 1st-degree.

Assistant Attorney General Kelly Marnette cited South Dakota’s Marsy’s law and requested that Walder be placed into custody immediately following the guilty plea. Judge Spears allowed Walder to remain out on the initially paid bail of $50,000.

Court-appointed Defense Attorney Donald McCarty listed reasoning to stay out of jail, including no prior history, having been out on bond this whole time with no issues, having made all the court appearances, and having four children at home, one of which is only two months old and is nursing.

Judge Spears said, typically, in these situations, it may be granted, but cited those reasons and “special circumstances” of the case for the decision.

This case dates back to July 14, 2021, and court documents show on Sept. 29, 2021, the $50,000 bond was posted.