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Date: 05-31-2023

Case Style:

United States of America v. Heather Dawn Smith, a/k/a Heather Dawn Yellow Owl

Case Number:

Judge: Brian M. Morris

Court: United States District Court for the District of Montana (Cascade County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office in Great Falls

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description: Great Falls, Montana criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with second-degree murder on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Heather Dawn Smith, aka Heather Dawn Yellow Owl, 32, appeared for arraignment on a superseding information charging her with second degree murder and pleaded guilty to the crime.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing was set for Nov. 1. Smith was detained pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that on Nov. 8, 2020 in Wolf Point, Smith beat the victim, a two-year-old child identified as Jane Doe. When Smith checked on the victim on Nov. 12, the child was unresponsive. The child was transported to the hospital in Wolf Point, where she was pronounced dead. The cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lori Harper Suek and Ryan G. Weldon are prosecuting the case. The FBI, Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation and Wolf Point Police Department conducted the investigation.

Outcome: Defendant pled guilty. Smith faces a maximum of life in prison, a $250,00 fine and five years of supervised release.

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