Sanborn County Man Pleads to First Degree Manslaughter

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley and Sanborn County States Attorney Jeffrey Larson announced today that Matthew Walter Novak, 33, Woonsocket, pled guilty to manslaughter in the first degree, class C felony, punishable by up to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary and/or $50,000 fine.

On August 31, 2016, Novak stabbed and killed Jennifer Ann Gibson at their place of residence located in Woonsocket. Authorities arrested Novak after the incident that prompted authorities to lock down a nearby school. South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley’s office says an autopsy report shows that 26-year-old Jennifer Gibson died from a stab wound to the neck.

Novak originally pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and two other counts for the death of Gibson. A sentencing hearing date has not been set.

This case was investigated by the Sanborn County Sheriff’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by the Sanborn County States Attorney and the Attorney General’s Office.


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