Jamelle Lynn Kennedy Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls on May 14, 2010, before U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon, JAMELLE LYNN KENNEDY, a 25-year-old resident of Poplar, pled guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. Sentencing has been set for August 12, 2010. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl E. Rostad, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On June 30, 2009, the Child Protective Services (CPS) office of the Fort Peck Tribes received a report that J.K., age 6, was being beaten by her mother, KENNEDY, at the family home in Poplar. A child protection visit was made that day and an investigation initiated. J.K. told CPS investigators that she had fallen off her bike and had not been hit with anything. Investigators at the scene had observed J.K. riding her bike and the child showed good balance and riding skills. J.K. was taken to the Poplar Hospital Emergency Room for a medical examination.
J.K. told medical personnel that she had fallen off of her bike and had not been hit with anything. The treating physician indicated that the wounds were not accidental and had been intentionally inflicted. The bruises were not consistent with any sort of fall, as the injuries were all over the child's body - front and back and top and bottom. The marks were much more consistent with a severe beating with some sort of an object such as a belt or a stick, particularly as the bruising density was most apparent over the thighs and buttocks. The injuries were not all inflicted at the same time as the bruises were in different stages of repair. Some were brown, indicating an old wound, and others more purple in color indicating they had occurred within the last day or two.
KENNEDY was interviewed on the day of the report, June 30, 2009. Initially, she told CPS investigators that she had noticed the bruising three or four days earlier when J.K. was taking a bath. She stated that the bruising was caused by J.K. repeatedly falling off of her bike. Several months later, when re-interviewed by law enforcement and confronted with the medical opinion, KENNEDY admitted that J.K. was beaten with a kitchen spoon. According to KENNEDY, J.K. had acted up when told they would be leaving a local carnival and threw a tantrum all of the way home on the afternoon of June 30. When they arrived home, KENNEDY picked up a long-handled plastic spoon from their kitchen and used it to hit J.K. KENNEDY said she "blacked out" with anger as she was hitting J.K. The reason the bruises were all over the child's body is because she kept moving around as she was being hit.
KENNEDY faces possible penalties of 5 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and at least 3 years supervised release.
The investigation was conducted by a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Fort Peck Criminal Investigations.
A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.