September 3, 2021
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–A request for a lower bond for a Watertown woman charged with murder has been denied.

Thirty one year-old Amanda Walder is charged by Grand Jury indictment with Second Degree Murder, First Degree Manslaughter, Aggravated Battery of an Infant, and Abuse or Cruelty to a Minor in connection with the July 14th death of 16 month-old Liam Koistinen.

Walder appeared in Codington County District Court this morning. Her attorney, Jennifer Goldammer, in arguing for a lower bond, told the court that her client has, “followed the rules” since her initial arrest seven weeks ago.

Goldammer noted Walder has no criminal history, has taught CCD classes, has two young children that give her “incentive to stay” in the community, and is “not a flight risk.”

Goldammer said Walder’s family cannot afford $100,000 cash bond, and without giving a specific amount, requested a lower, “appropriate bond” to be set at the judge’s discretion.

Magistrate Judge Patrick McCann noted that Walder is now facing a homicide charge that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, and ruled the $100,000 cash bond “remains appropriate.”

If Walder does post conditional bond,  Judge McCann says she’s to have no contact with the victim’s family, and no unsupervised contact with minor children. 

Walder was arrested in mid-July after Watertown police and paramedics were called to a daycare on a report of an unconcious child.

Koistinen was taken to Prairie Lakes Hospital and then transferred to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls where he died. Doctors described his injuries as being “consistent with abuse.”

Walder did not enter a plea today. Judge McCann set her arraignment for September 29th at 9:00 a.m.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney General Kelly Marnette.