Dismemberment evidence allowed in murder trial

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota judge has ruled that dismemberment evidence can be used in the trial of a man accused of killing his girlfriend and dumping her remains in a river in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The attorney for 45-year-old Robert Falkenberg argued the evidence might prejudice a jury against his client who has pleaded not guilty to killing Tamara LaFramboise last March.

The nude torso of the 46-year-old Yankton woman was found in the Little River in Michigan’s Menominee Township, near Falkenberg’s family farm weeks later. Her head and hands had been removed and are still missing.

Defense attorney Clint Sargent argued that the dismemberment was performed days after the murder and did not serve to show intent. Judge Cheryle Gering denied the motion Monday.