11 inmates face charges related to disturbances at South Dakota State Penitentiary

Eleven inmates at the South Dakota State Penitentiary are facing charges in connection with disturbances last month at the prison in Sioux Falls, Attorney General Marty Jackley announced Tuesday.

“These were dangerous acts that injured two state correctional officers and caused significant damage to prison property,” Jackley said in a news release. “Inmates found responsible will be held accountable for their actions.”

Joshua David Vortherms, 45, faces the most serious charges — two counts each of aggravated and simple assault against a Department of Corrections employee. Court records do not list an attorney for Vortherms, who has been incarcerated since 2019 and is serving a 15-year term for vehicular homicide.

Four inmates are charged for allegedly starting fires during the disturbances. Six inmates face property damage counts.

Gov. Kristi Noem said last month that the disturbances happened after tablet computers were removed from inmates because they were being used for illegal purposes.


April 24, 2024