Judge: South Dakota can’t use COVID-19 to delay trial

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A federal judge says a state court in South Dakota can’t use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to delay a Codington County trial.

U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann also criticized South Dakota’s response to the pandemic, saying it has done “little, if anything,” to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Kornmann ordered that unless the Codington County state court resolves Matthew Kurtenbach’s case by Jan. 15, Kurtenbach will win a federal petition he filed claiming wrongful imprisonment and a violation of his right to a speedy trial.

Kurtenbach faces charges including aggravated assault and forgery.


January 4, 2021