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Von Wald stepping down as 5th Judicial Circuit presiding judge

ABERDEEN (AP) — The presiding judge in South Dakota's 5th Judicial Circuit is stepping down early next year.

Jack Von Wald has been the head judge in the circuit for 10 years. He tells the American News that his last day on the bench will be Jan. 8.

The Groton native has been a judge for 20 years. He is 69, and under South Dakota law faces mandatory retirement at age 70.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard will appoint Von Wald's replacement after qualified candidates are selected by the state's Judicial Qualifications Commission.

The 5th Judicial Circuit includes the counties of Brown, Campbell, Day, Edmunds, Faulk, Marshall, McPherson, Roberts, Spink and Walworth.