United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that an Agency Village, South Dakota, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Involuntary Manslaughter.
Samantha Flute, age 26, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William D. Gerdes on March 21, 2017, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalties upon conviction is up to 8 years of imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
On or about August 20, 2016, Flute gave birth to a fully developed male infant. At the time of admission, Flute tested positive for a number of prescription and over-the-counter medications. The cause of death was attributed to a combined drug toxicity of the prescription and over-the-counter medications. It is alleged in the indictment that Flute acted in a grossly negligent manner, with actual knowledge that her conduct was a threat to the life of another, and with actual knowledge that would reasonably enable her to foresee the peril to which her act subjected another.
The charges are merely accusations and Flute is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State of South Dakota’s Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Sioux Tribe’s Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy R. Jehangiri is prosecuting the case.
Flute was released to a third-party pending trial. A trial date has been set for May 23, 2017.