Dell Rapids Man Found Not Guilty of Murder
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A jury found Alex Wittenberg, 24-year-old Dell Rapids man, not guilty of killing his off-and-on girlfriend’s estranged husband, Jon Puttmann.
Family members of both the defendant and the victim, including Jamie Puttmann, filled the courtroom Tuesday night to hear the verdict.
Wittenberg was facing one count of second degree murder as well as three manslaughter charges.
The charges were for a November 2016 shooting where Wittenberg shot Jon. Wittenberg’s attorneys said it was an act of self-defense.
The jury deliberated for nine hours after they listened to closing arguments on Tuesday.
“You hit that moment when you realize oh my god, he might be going to jail for the rest of his life, like from here on and it’s, it’s a big deep pit in your stomach there for a while,” said Vasili Kravchyk, Wittenberg’s biological brother.
Wittenberg’s brother said he knew the jury would understand that his younger brother acted in self-defense.
Jon Puttmann’s family left the courtroom in silence and declined to comment on the verdict.
Jamie’s family also declined to appear on-camera. They say they weren’t rooting for either side or hoping for any particular verdict, as it’s a difficult case.