South Dakota corrections officials say a woman who entered an Alford plea last year in the 1981 death of her newborn son was released on parole after serving less than three months in prison, as stipulated by the judge.
Corrections officials said in a notice Monday that 60-year-old Theresa Bentaas was freed.
A passerby found Bentaas’ newborn son wrapped in blankets in a Sioux Falls ditch during the winter of 1981. Advances in DNA technology led authorities in 2019 to charge Bentaas, who entered the Alford plea to a first-degree manslaughter charge last October. The plea means she maintained her innocence but admitted the evidence could persuade a judge or jury of her guilt.
In December, Judge Bradley Zell sentenced Bentaas to 10 years in prison but suspended nine of them and said she should serve only two months.