Comments Off on Janelle Red Dog, 42, of Poplar, gets 20 years for murdering 13-month-old baby girl while high on Methamphetamine

A Poplar mother has not yet forgiven the woman who was high on meth when she killed the mother’s 13-month-old daughter in April 2016.

“Do you know what you’ve done?” Eva Hernandez asked Janelle Red Dog, sitting in tears at the defendant’s table Wednesday in federal court. “You’ve ruined my life… I used to look up to you.”

Red Dog was sentenced on Wednesday to 20 years in federal prison for second-degree murder. She signed a plea deal earlier this year in which she admitted to killing 13-month-old Kenzley Olson — Red Dog’s niece and Hernandez’s daughter — in 2016 on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, in exchange for a lower sentencing level.

Olson was sick and crying often while she was in Red Dog’s care in April of last year, according to court documents. Red Dog, admittedly high on methamphetamine during the incident, lost her temper with the toddler and hit the girl on top of the head in a manner “too hard for a baby,” she later told investigators.

Red Dog initially reported Olson missing to tribal law enforcement on April 19, 2016, saying she had gone to the bathroom, come out and discovered she was missing, according to reports. She gave two more versions of the story of Olson’s disappearance before telling officers that she had lied, and that Olson had died. After she struck the toddler on the head, Olson reportedly had a seizure before she fell into unconsciousness. Instead of going to the hospital, Red Dog reportedly smoked meth with a friend.

The next morning, Red Dog took Olson in a car toward the hospital, according to court documents. En route, Olson stopped breathing, so Red Dog reportedly tried CPR before deciding it was too late. Red Dog placed the girl in a duffel bag and put the bag in a dumpster, where law enforcement eventually found her through Red Dog’s direction. Inside the same dumpster was another two bags Red Dog had put there, containing methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, marijuana, some personal items and a sex toy.

“How would you feel if someone did that to you? Took your child?” Hernandez asked as she glared at Red Dog in federal court on Wednesday. “What would you do?”

Hernandez’s statement came as a surprise to the court. She stood up and made the request to speak during U.S. District Judge Brian Morris’ conclusion of his own sentencing statement.

Earlier in the hearing, Morris asked Red Dog how Olson came into her care. Red Dog said Olson was being babysat by multitudes of people over a short period of time. Although Red Dog had been trying to quit methamphetamine during that time, she decided to take Olson into her home with her own children.

“Had I been sober and clean, none of this would have happened,” Red Dog said in her statement to the court. “I’m not trying to minimize my responsibility, but I battle myself every day wondering how this happened.”

Red Dog begged for her family’s forgiveness in her statement, and hoped she could repay her debt to the community after her release.

After Red Dog’s apology statement, Morris jumped back to the details of the case, asking why she didn’t take the toddler to the hospital.

“I was scared,” an emotional Red Dog said. “I didn’t know what to do.”

In a sentencing memo, Assistant U.S. District Attorney Bryan Dake had requested 250 months, just 10 more than Morris’ sentencing. Morris said the Fort Peck community members and law enforcement were deeply distraught by the case, having followed so closely after the John Lieba case in Wolf Point, in which a 4-year-old girl was kidnapped, raped and strangled before law enforcement found her alive. Red Dog’s case was a result of not a calculated effort but her own choices along the way as she tried to shift suspicion away from herself, he said.

“It scares me when you see what an individual on meth can do,” Dake told the judge. “The facts (of this case) quite frankly are sickening, and simply can’t ever be understood.”

 

 

 

greatfallstribune.com/story/news/crime/2017/07/26/poplar-woman-gets-20-years-toddlers-murder/514747001/

 

 

Janelle Red Dog, 42, accused of beating to death Kenzley Olson, a 13-month-old baby girl under her care on the Montana Fort Peck Indian reservation and throwing the body into a dumpster; Fort Peck Tribal Chairman Floyd Azure believes Methamphetamine is to blame

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