Murder shocks Woonsocket

Suspect being held on $350,000 bond

Jennifer Gibson, 26, of Woonsocket, was the victim of Woonsocket’s first homicide in 44 years, last Wednesday morning.
Matthew Walter Novak, 33, also of Woonsocket, was arrested for second degree murder, Wednesday, Aug. 31, around 10:30 a.m., following a tense few moments involving local and state police and a SWAT team.
The Sanborn County Sheriff’s office received a call around 9 a.m. reporting an incident at 206 S. 3rd Ave., Woonsocket. Authorities from that office, the Jerauld County Sheriff’s office, the Division of Criminal Investigation and SD Highway Patrol, quickly responded, surrounded the home and locked down about a block-wide area west of main street.
Novak was taken into custody without further incident  about 10:30 a.m. and was walked in handcuffs to the courthouse just a half block away by Sheriff Tom Fridley. He was later taken to the Beadle County jail, where he remains.
Gibson’s body was found in the home, but the cause and time of death have not yet been released. The home is owned by Colleen Gibson, Jennifer’s mom, but neighbors report that Jennifer, her four children and Novak had been living there.
During the brief standoff, Woonsocket School, which is about a block and a half from the residence, went into a self-imposed lockdown. The lockdown lasted just 10 minutes, until Novak was taken into custody.
Gibson and Novak had just been recognized in January by Huron Regional Medical Center and local media for having the first baby of the year born in Huron.
Novak appeared in court Thursday, Sept. 1, with his court-appointed attorney, Jeffrey Burns. He is being held on a $350,000 bond. His next scheduled appearance is Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m. in the Sanborn County Courthouse.

…To learn more and see more pictures, pick up this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal.

 Sanborn County Sheriff’s Deputy Naif Alatta guards the perimeter of the crime scene as Deputy Jason Coenen exits the house. Jennifer Gibson, 26, of Woonsocket was killed in the home Wednesday morning, Aug. 31.

Sanborn County Sheriff’s Deputy Naif Alatta guards the perimeter of the crime scene as Deputy Jason Coenen exits the house. Jennifer Gibson, 26, of Woonsocket was killed in the home Wednesday morning, Aug. 31.

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