Prosecutors argue to include DNA evidence in old murder case

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Prosecutors are asking a judge to deny a defense request to exclude DNA evidence used to charge a Sioux Falls woman with killing her newborn nearly 40 years ago.

Attorneys for Theresa Bentaas want to suppress DNA evidence obtained from her trash because investigators didn’t have a search warrant.

Prosecutors in Minnehaha County argue there is no “blanket rule” from the U.S. and South Dakota Supreme Courts on giving trash constitutional protection against unreasonable searches, the Argus Leader reported.

Bentaas, 58, was charged with first- and second-degree murder last year after investigators say they used advances in DNA evidence and genealogy sites to determine she was the mother of an infant found abandoned in a cornfield ditch in Sioux Falls in 1981. The baby died of exposure.

She is scheduled for a three-week jury trial in April.