Bismarck woman pleads not guilty to child neglect charge in infant death case

26-year-old Cassandra Black Elk from her hearing Monday morning.
26-year-old Cassandra Black Elk from her hearing Monday morning.(KFYR)
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 11:35 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A Bismarck woman who faces a felony child neglect charge after an infant in her care died has pleaded not guilty.

Bismarck police say they found a deceased baby in February with 26-year-old Cassandra Black Elk as the sole adult at the scene.

Court documents report that Black Elk had had an altercation with the baby’s father the previous evening and he left the scene. She said she swaddled the baby and went to sleep but found the baby unresponsive in the morning. Prosecutors say Black Elk had been intoxicated at the time.

Black Elk waived her preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty Monday. Judge Daniel Borgen set her trial in August. The state plans to call around 27 witnesses to testify in the trial.

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