beauty pageants

Miss South Dakota USA 2022 Shania Knutson suspended, accused of stealing $554.54 worth of goods at Walmart

Shania Ann Knutson, 22, of Brookings, Brookings County, South Dakota has been suspended from her role as Miss South Dakota USA 2022. She is facing a first-degree petty theft charge out of Brookings County.

Aside from Brookings, Knutson has lived in other parts of South Dakota including Viborg. She is Jason Knutson and Alicia Knutson‘s daughter.


Born and raised in South Dakota, Shania grew up on a farm with her three sisters and attended Viborg-Hurley High School in Viborg from 2015 to 2019. From 2019 to 2022, she attended South Dakota State University in Brookings where she earned her bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship.

American Marriage Ministers ordained Shania as a minister on February 4, 2021 and on April 25, 2021, she became runner-up to Miss South Dakota USA 2021 Caroline Pettey. On March 20, 2022, her boyfriend Pierre Lear proposed to her and she said yes.


On April 9, 2022, Shania won Miss South Dakota USA 2022 at the Watertown Events Center in Watertown, Codington County, South Dakota. On April 24, 2022, Shania, her three sisters and their parents received the 2022 Family of the Year award from the South Dakota Future Farmers of America Foundation at South Dakota State University in Brookings.

Representing South Dakota, Shania was unplaced when she competed against 50 other Miss USA 2022 candidates at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Washoe County, Nevada, USA on October 3, 2022. Between October 2022 and December 2022, she allegedly stole a total of $554.54 worth of goods at Walmart across 12 separate occasions.

In January 2023, Shania was arrested on her warrant for petty theft in the first degree and booked into the Brookings County Detention Center in Brookings. At 9:00 a.m. on February 13, 2023, she will make her initial appearance in court. 

It has yet to be confirmed whether or not Shania will lose her Miss South Dakota USA 2022 crown. If not, she will crown her successor Miss South Dakota USA 2023 on June 11, 2023.

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