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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Oklahoma

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Stilwell Woman Sentenced To 84 Months For Child Neglect In Indian Country

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Jessica Jean Clark, a/k/a Jessica Jean Kidd, age 38, of Stilwell, Oklahoma, was sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment, and 5 years of supervised release for Child Neglect In Indian Country, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1151, 1153 and Title 21, Oklahoma Statutes, Section 843.5(C). The charge arose from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service.

The Indictment alleged that from in or about June 2017, to September 13, 2017, within the Eastern District of Oklahoma, within Indian Country, the Defendant, Jessica Jean Clark, willfully and maliciously failed and omitted to provide adequate nurturance, hygiene, sanitation, shelter and medical care to J.H. and P.H., and provide special care made necessary by the physical condition of P.H., all while the defendant was responsible for the health, safety and welfare of J.H. and P.H., children under the age of eighteen.  

At the Sentencing Hearing, the Government presented evidence that P.H. sustained an injury. As a result of the injury she became sick while in the care of the Defendant and was in need of immediate medical attention.  The Defendant failed to obtain medical attention and P.H. died on September 12, 2017.  P.H. was only 9-years-old at the time of her death. 

United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester said, “The tragic end to this child’s life was completely unnecessary and fully preventable with obviously needed and readily accessible medical care. The defendant chose to ignore the obvious signs of her daughter’s serious illness and as a result she died needlessly. This should never have happened.” 

"The FBI's Oklahoma City Safe Trails Task Force fostered critical collaboration with our tribal law enforcement partners, and together we ensured justice in this tragic case for the young victim," said Melissa Godbold, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office. "We remain steadfast in our commitment to protect all Americans, especially the most vulnerable in our communities."

Cherokee Nation Marshal Shannon Buhl said, "It’s a collaborative effort ensuring our Cherokee communities are safer and tribal citizens protected. This investigation was another example of the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service and our federal partners in the Eastern District of Oklahoma working together to ensure justice was served for a Cherokee child."
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 hearing. Assistant United States Attorney McAmis and Cherokee Nation’s Special Assistant United States Attorney Courtney Jordan represented the United States. 

Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Childhood
Updated October 3, 2019