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Watertown daycare provider accused of killing toddler in her care changes her plea

(KXLG – Watertown, SD) Amanda Walder, of Watertown, SD, entered a plea change of guilty today after a plea agreement was reached with the prosecution.

Walder agreed to plead guilty to one count of manslaughter 1st degree, a class 6 felony and punishable with up to life in prison.

Walder was initially charged with murder – second-degree, two counts of manslaughter, first-degree, aggravated battery of an infant, and abuse/cruelty of a minor under seven years of age. The prosecution dismissed the four other charges.

Attorney General Kelly Marnette cited South Dakota’s Marsy’s law and requested that Walder be placed into custody immediately following the guilty plea. Judge Spears allowed Walder to remain out on the initially paid bail of $50,000.

Court-appointed Defense Attorney Donald McCarty listed reasoning to stay out of jail, including no prior history, has been out on bond this whole time with no issues, has made all the court appearances, and has four children at home, one of which is only two months old and is nursing.

Judge Spears said, typically, in these situations, it may be granted, but cited those reasons and “special circumstances” of the case for the decision.

This case dates back to July 14, 2021, and court documents show on September 29, 2021, the $50,000 bond was posted.

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