Victim named in Woonsocket murder

novak gibson

Jennifer Gibson and Matt Novak following the birth of their son in January – SANBORN WEEKLY JOURNAL FILE PHOTO

Jennifer Gibson, 26, of Woonsocket has been named as the victim in a Sanborn County homicide.

Matthew Walter Novak, 33, also of Woonsocket was taken into custody about 10:30 a.m. this morning following a short stand-off with state and local police at a residence at 206 S. 3rd Ave, Woonsocket. He has been charged with one count of second degree murder, punishable by a mandatory life sentence.

A SWAT team, along with members of the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and police from the Sanborn and Jerauld counties, locked down a block-wide area west of Woonoscket’s main street and a block south of the courthouse, while they diffused the situation.

Local police received a call around 9 or 9:15 this morning, reporting that there may be a situation at the home. The home is owned by Colleen Gibson, Jennifer’s mother, but neighbors say she and Matt and their four children lived there.

Sanborn County Sheriff's Deputy Naif Alatta guards the perimeter of the crime scene as Deputy Jason Coenen exits the house.

Sanborn County Sheriff’s Deputy Naif Alatta guards the perimeter of the crime scene as Deputy Jason Coenen exits the house.

Woonsocket High School, which is a block and a half away from the residence, went into a self-imposed lockdown for about 10 minutes, until police were able to arrest Novak. He was led in handcuffs by Sheriff Tom Fridley to the county courthouse a half-block away.

Novak was recognized in January by local media as fathering the first baby born in 2016 at Huron Regional Medical Center.

Authorities are still on the scene as the investigation continues. According to the Sanborn County State’s Attorney, Novak will likely appear in court around mid-September.


Comments are closed.

  • Weather

    September 29, 2020, 8:48 pm
    real feel: 63°F
    humidity: 42%
    wind speed: 4 mph NNW
    wind gusts: 11 mph
  • Upcoming Events

    September 2020
    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    August 30, 2020 August 31, 2020 September 1, 2020 September 2, 2020 September 3, 2020 September 4, 2020 September 5, 2020
    September 6, 2020 September 7, 2020 September 8, 2020 September 9, 2020 September 10, 2020 September 11, 2020 September 12, 2020
    September 13, 2020 September 14, 2020 September 15, 2020 September 16, 2020 September 17, 2020 September 18, 2020 September 19, 2020
    September 20, 2020 September 21, 2020 September 22, 2020 September 23, 2020 September 24, 2020 September 25, 2020 September 26, 2020
    September 27, 2020 September 28, 2020 September 29, 2020 September 30, 2020 October 1, 2020 October 2, 2020 October 3, 2020
  • Recent Posts

  • Contact Us

    Ph/Fax: 605.796.4221

    PO BOX 218
    Woonsocket, SD 57385
  • Archives