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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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Attorney General Jackley Announces Former Watertown Child Care Provider Sentenced For First-Degree Manslaughter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 14, 2024

Contact: Tony Mangan, Communications Director, 605-773-6878

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announces Amanda Walder of Watertown, a former child care provider, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after she earlier pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the 2021 death of a 17-month-old child.

Walder was sentenced Friday in Codington County Court in Watertown. She pled guilty to the charge in March as part of a plea agreement. Walder also was ordered to pay $13,164.75 in restitution to the family and $1,339.86 to Codington County.

“We offer our condolences to the family of the victim,” said Attorney General Jackley. “We also thank law enforcement and prosecutors for their efforts.”

Walder was watching the toddler at her in-home daycare center in July 2021 when Watertown police were called to a report of an unconscious child. The subsequent investigation revealed that the child died of traumatic brain injury caused by assault. Walder pled guilty to killing the child in a moment of passion, but in a cruel and unusual manner.

This case is one of six current child homicide cases being worked on by the Attorney General’s Office. In all of the cases, the victims were under the age of three years old.

“The victims were either injured by a parent, another family member or someone entrusted to care for children,” said Attorney General Jackley. “If anyone suspects a child has been abused, they should immediately call local law enforcement.”

This case was investigated by state Division of Criminal Investigation and the Watertown Police Department. It was prosecuted by the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office.