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Judge allows DNA from trash in 1981 murder case

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — 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.

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.