Skip to main content
Press Release

Murder in death of child sends Wolf Point woman to prison for more than 16 years

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

GREAT FALLS  — A Wolf Point woman who admitted to a murder charge in the death of child on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation was sentenced on Oct. 30 to 16 years and three months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Heather Dawn Smith, aka Heather Dawn Yellow Owl, 33, pleaded guilty in May to second degree murder.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

The government alleged in court documents that on Nov. 8, 2020 in Wolf Point, Smith beat the victim, a two-year-old child identified as Jane Doe. When Smith checked on the victim on Nov. 12, the child was unresponsive. The child was transported to the hospital in Wolf Point, where she was pronounced dead. The cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lori Harper Suek and Ryan G. Weldon prosecuted the case. The FBI, Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation and Wolf Point Police Department conducted the investigation.



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated October 31, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-410