Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg today announced that Stephen R. Falkenberg, 45, Yankton, has been sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole.

Falkenberg was found guilty by a Yankton County jury in January, of 2nd Degree Murder, a class B felony, as well as 1st-degree manslaughter, a class C felony, both arising from the March 1, 2019, death of 46-year old Tamara LaFramboise of Yankton. LaFramboise’s body was discovered in Menominee County, Michigan, on March 16, 2019.

“This was a horrific crime,” said Ravnsborg. “I am glad we could get justice for the family and keep South Dakota safe by taking this violent killer off the streets.”

The South Dakota Attorney General’s Office handled the prosecution and the investigation was conducted by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the Yankton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Yankton Police Department, the FBI, and Michigan authorities.

Source: SD Attorney General


Original story:

A man accused of killing his girlfriend, dismembering her body and dumping it in a Michigan river made his first court appearance in front of a South Dakota Judge.

Stephen Falkenberg made his initial court appearance Thursday (April 21) in Yankton County Circuit Court. Magistrate Judge Kasey Sorensen read Falkenberg the charges of second-degree murder, which he said he understood, according to WNAX radio.

He is charged with killing 46-year-old Tamara LaFramboise on or about March first, by her mother who resides in New Mexico. Her dismembered body was found in a Menominee Michigan County stream last Saturday. Falkenberg was arrested in Sioux Falls on Monday.

The investigation is ongoing and authorities in Michigan say they continue to search for body parts. Outside of the courthouse, prayers were being said by Frances Zephier. "Her mother deserves to bury her daughter whole," Zephier said as she talked with KSFY TV News reporter Jill Langland. "And her head, I mean, as a woman, as a mother, I just couldn't imagine."

Assistant Attorney General Doug Barnett is leading the prosecution. 44-year-old Falkenberg is represented by Clint Sargent of Sioux Falls, who had no comment after the court appearance.