Judge rules DNA can be used in murder case from nearly 40 years ago

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Argus Leader) — A judge has ruled prosecutors can use DNA evidence investigators pulled from the trash of a Sioux Falls woman charged with killing her newborn nearly 40 years ago. Second Circuit Court Judge Susan Sabers this week denied a request from the defense attorney for Theresa Bentaas to suppress the evidence because investigators didn’t have a search warrant.

The Argus Leader reports Sabers says Bentaas voluntarily discarded the items tested in her trash, so she has no reasonable expectation of privacy. The 58-year-old Bentaas is charged with murder and manslaughter in the 1981 death of the infant found abandoned in a cornfield ditch in Sioux Falls.