Theresa Bentaas Makes First Court Appearance, Additional Charges in Cold Case
Theresa Bentaas made her first court appearance on Monday (March 11) following her arrest on alternate charges in the cold case of her newborn baby. She is being charged for leaving her newborn baby in a ditch in Sioux Falls in 1981.
In a report from KSFY TV Bentaas is charged with three alternative counts of first degree murder, second degree murder and first degree manslaughter. The maximum punishments for first degree and second degree murder are the same in 2019 as they were in 1981. Someone can be sentenced to death or life in prison for first degree murder. Murder in the second degree is punishable by mandatory life in prison.
According to KSFY TV another one of her charges is manslaughter in the first degree, which was classified as a class 1 felony in 1981. It's now a class C felony, but the possible sentence is the same, which is up to life in the state penitentiary.
On Monday, the judge decided Bentaas' bond will stay at $250,000 even though the defense tried to get it lowered.