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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts McAlester Resident Of Committing Child Abuse In Indian Country

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Oklahoma

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced today that to Paula Amber Chisholm, age 37, of McAlester, Oklahoma, was found guilty by a federal jury of Child Abuse in Indian Country.

The jury trial began with testimony on Monday, January 9, 2023 and concluded on Thursday, January 12, 2023 with the guilty verdict.

During the trial, the United States presented evidence that on December 3, 2019, a five-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital after school officials became concerned about his physical state and demeanor at school. During a medical evaluation it was revealed the child had multiple wounds, abrasions, and bruises from his head to his toes and was extremely malnourished. The defendant is the child’s aunt who resided in the home and was his primary caregiver. During the subsequent investigation, the child and his sister named the defendant as the person responsible for causing the injuries.

The guilty verdict was the result of an investigation by the McAlester Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma prosecuted the case because the defendant is a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe and the crime occurred in Pittsburg County, within the boundaries of the Choctaw Nation Reservation, and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in Muskogee, presided over the trial and ordered the completion of a presentence report. Sentencing will be scheduled following completion of the report. Chisholm was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending the imposition of sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Morgan Muzljakovich and Assistant United States Attorney Hannah Jones represented the United States.

Updated January 18, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice