Judge sentences Bismarck woman to one and a half years in prison in child death case
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A district court judge has sentenced a Bismarck woman to one and a half years in prison for child neglect after a baby died in her care.
Prosecutors said 26-year-old Cassandra Black Elk was the sole adult at the scene where a three-week-old died in February. They say she had been intoxicated and in an altercation with the baby’s father who left the home a few hours before police arrived. She told police she swaddled the baby and went to sleep, but when she woke the baby was dead.
Amid court hearings, she stated she has been seeking professional mental health help.
She pleaded guilty to child neglect as part of a plea agreement. Judge Daniel Borgen accepted the agreement and sentenced Black Elk to five years in prison, with all but one and a half years suspended.
As part of the sentence, Black Elk is required to take a parenting and nurturing course.
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