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Press Release

Red Lake Woman Pleads Guilty To Child Endangerment

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

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the guilty plea of MARTHA ANN SMITH, 69, to one count of felony child endangerment. SMITH, who was charged by felony   information on January 26, 2021, pleaded guilty this morning before Judge Michael J. Davis in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A sentencing date will be scheduled at a later time.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed with the court, SMITH endangered a minor child in her foster care on multiple occasions at her residence on the Red Lake Indian Reservation. SMITH admitted that on the evening of October 10, 2019, through the morning of October 11, 2019, SMITH tightly bound the 5-year-old child’s wrists and ankles to the sides of a highchair and forced the child to remain shackled to the high chair throughout the night. As a result of the shackling, the child suffered bruising and lacerations on her wrists and ankles as well as mental and emotional trauma. SMITH further admitted that she neglected and endangered the child on multiple occasions during the time the child was under SMITH’s foster care, since the child was approximately three months old.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Red Lake Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chelsea A. Walcker and Lindsey Middlecamp are prosecuting the case.

Defendant Information:


Red Lake, Minn.


  • Child endangerment, 1 count



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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600






Updated February 16, 2021

Indian Country Law and Justice