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Press Release

Wagner Woman Sentenced for Involuntary Manslaughter

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

SIOUX FALLS - United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced today that U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier has sentenced a Wagner, South Dakota, woman convicted of Involuntary Manslaughter. The sentencing took place on August 21, 2023.

Chelsea Andersh, age 29, was sentenced to four years of probation and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Andersh was indicted by a federal grand jury in March of 2022. She pleaded guilty on May 31, 2023.

The conviction stemmed from an incident on September 11, 2021, when Andersh, after smoking methamphetamine and marijuana, gave her five-month old son a bottle and put him back in the bed with her. Later that day, the baby was discovered on his side, his face into Andersh’s body, under her arm, deceased. The autopsy revealed that the cause of death was “asphyxia due to smothering due to bed sharing with mother.” The contributing cause was “maternal methamphetamine use.”

This matter was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office because the Major Crimes Act, a federal statute, mandates that certain violent crimes alleged to have occurred in Indian Country be prosecuted in federal court as opposed to State court.

This case was investigated by the Yankton Sioux Law Enforcement, Charles Mix County Sheriff’s Office, Wagner Police Department, and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman prosecuted the case.



Updated August 25, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice