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The case of the South Dakota inmate accused of killing a retired Rapid City teacher in June has been assigned to a new judge after two others disqualified themselves.

Judge Jeff Davis, of the 7th Circuit Court, is now presiding over the case of Andrew Eastman, charged with multiple felonies including first-degree murder in the death of Larry Mintzlaff. Eastman made his initial circuit court appearances before Judge Robert Gusinsky until Eastman asked the judge to recuse himself, believing he couldn’t receive a fair and impartial trial, according to court documents.

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The case was handed to Judge Matt Brown, who received a similar request from the prosecution, the Pennington County State's Attorney's Office. Judges who disqualify themselves from a case aren’t required by South Dakota law to state their reasons. None were provided in Eastman's file.

Contact Tiffany Tan at tiffany.tan@rapidcityjournal.com.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Rapid City Journal