Dell Rapids Man On Trial For Killing Girlfriend’s Estranged Husband

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A Dell Rapids man is on trial in Sioux Falls for a 2016 manslaughter. Prosecutors say Alex Wittenberg shot and killed Jon Puttmann, but Wittenberg’s defense attorneys say it was self defense.

All eyes were on Jamie Puttmann when she took the stand on Monday. She was Alex Wittenberg’s on-and-off girlfriend and Jon Puttmann’s estranged wife. On Monday, she shared her side of the story.

Jamie says the November 2016 incident was a custody swap gone wrong. Jamie and Jon were married for ten years and shared custody of their children. Jamie was taking two of her children to her estranged husband Jon’s house when her on-again-off-again boyfriend Alex Wittenberg tagged along and drove her Chevrolet. Jamie says when they arrived, Jon pulled his car behind hers, then her two younger kids got out of the car. She testified that everything was okay until Jon opened the driver side door and began punching Alex. In court, Jamie called Jon “the initiator.”

She says a physical altercation broke out between the two men and she instructed her kids to go inside Jon’s house. Then, she says Alex pulled out a legally-owned 9 millimeter handgun and she heard a “pop.” Then, she saw Jon fall face first to the ground.

Jamie and Alex met in March 2016 through an acquaintance in Dell Rapids, the same month Jamie says she told Jon that she wanted a divorce. Then, she testified that two started dating in May 2016 and began living together that month. Jamie says Alex broke up with her in October. Shortly after, she says she learned that she was pregnant with Alex’s baby despite having a tubectomy. She said the two “more or less” were back together by the end of October. That baby never came, as she believes she later miscarried.  

The defense presented text messages in court on Monday that Jon sent Jamie in which Jon threatened to harm Wittenberg.

The trial is set to resume on Tuesday at the Minnehaha Courthouse.

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