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Mother Pleads Guilty After Daughters Age 2 and 3 Found Starving and Near Death

A South Dakota woman entered a plea of guilty on Friday to felony child abuse and neglect of two of her children. Darcel Featherman allegedly left her daughters, age 2 and 3, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the care of her mother and sister. The children were discovered by tribal police emaciated and near death.

Featherman signed a factual basis statement claiming she was aware that her mother and sister suffer from addiction and use of methamphetamine and alcohol and they would be unlikely to provide proper care for the children. When officers recovered the little girls they were lying on the floor of their grandmother’s home covered in blankets, lethargic and weighing only thirteen pounds. It was also discovered that due to chronic non-accidental trauma to her brain, the three-year-old child had lost her eyesight.

Featherman is the mother to eight children total, six of whom she does not have legal custody. Her daughters were placed into the care of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and they have put on weight since their relocation.

If she is convicted on all charges Featherman faces up to 15 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine. She will also be required to pay the Social Security Administration approximately $4300.

If you or someone you love is suspected of child abuse and neglect, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.