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Benda death privacy decision upheld


Pierre, SD (KELO-AM) The investigative records will remain private in the death of former State Economic Development Director Richard Benda.

Attorney General Marty Jackley announces that the Office of Hearing Examiners has affirmed and upheld the actions of the Attorney General in the Benda Death Investigation File Request.

Jackley says he is pleased that the Hearing Examiner has recognized both the protections provided by the laws and the Benda family's privacy.

On October 22, 2013, state, federal and local law enforcement authorities responded to Benda's death in rural Charles Mix County. On Nov 20, 2013, the Minnehaha County Forensic Pathologist issued an autopsy report indicating that in his opinion the cause of death was "shotgun wound to the abdomen" and manner of death "suicide."

South Dakota journalist Bob Mercer had filed the request for the Benda death investigation file.