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Press Release

St. Francis Woman Sentenced for Involuntary Manslaughter

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a St. Francis, South Dakota, woman convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter was sentenced on April 29, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Chelsea Okiya Wi Nixon, age 22, was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Nixon was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 11, 2018.  She pled guilty on February 7, 2019.

The conviction stemmed from an incident that occurred on August 18, 2018, when Nixon had ingested methamphetamine and stayed up late the evening prior. Nixon fell asleep while bottle-feeding her child. A relative entered the room Nixon was sleeping in, and observed Nixon’s shoulder covering the child’s face. The cause of death was reported as “asphyxia due to smothering by mother.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Elmore prosecuted the case.

Nixon was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated May 4, 2019

Indian Country Law and Justice