Mitchell man who was defiance against masks at a school board meeting will go to trial in August

MITCHELL, S.D.(KMIT)- A Mitchell man who made national and international news for refusing to leave a Mitchell School Board meeting last September after not complying with the school district’s mask mandate is set to go to trial next month. 

A motions hearing for Reed Bender was held last week at the Davison County Courthouse.  Bender’s attorney, R. Shawn Tornow, questioned whether officers responding to the incident were acting in lawful authority and requested a copy of the Mitchell School Board policy that Bender is accused of violating.  He added that officers needed a basis to invade Bender’s personal space and remove him from the meeting. 

Another issue discussed at the hearing was to what extent the criminal records of officers and witnesses will be shared.  Bender faces an obstruction charge, which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.