Standing Rock mother’s 13th conviction for child abuse or neglect lands her behind bars
ABERDEEN, S.D. -- A Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation mother who has had 12 previous convictions for child abuse or neglect will spend more than three years in custody for her most recent case after her seven children, including an injured b...
ABERDEEN, S.D. -- A Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation mother who has had 12 previous convictions for child abuse or neglect will spend more than three years in custody for her most recent case after her seven children, including an injured baby in a car seat, were found in her home unsupervised.
Velnita Jolette Hairy Chin, 43, of Bullhead was sentenced earlier last week by U.S. District Court Judge Charles Kornmann to 37 months behind bars followed by three years of supervised release.
South Dakota U.S. Attorney Randy Seiler said the latest incident was in late June when BIA officers were called to her home in Bullhead which is in far north-central South Dakota on the Standing Rock Reservation.
When officers arrived they found Hairy Chin passed out in a bed a basement room with an adult male, according to Seiler.
The children, including the baby in the car seat, were found in the living room and outside playing. The oldest of the seven children was 11.
The officer asked Hairy Chin repeatedly in the basement how long the baby had been in the car seat. She did not answer the question, at which point the officer placed her under arrest for child neglect and she was taken to the patrol car.
The officer then went back to check on the children. A neighbor came over and helped him change some of the children’s diapers and made a bottle for the baby.
The baby kept screaming when they would try to touch him, the officer said in court documents.
The officer then went outside and asked Hairy Chin if there was something wrong with the baby.
She replied that the baby was “fine, fat and OK.”
One of the other children, a little girl, told the officer that the baby had fallen after being dropped. He then called an ambulance.
Once again, the officer asked Hairy Chin what happened to the baby. This time, she admitted that he was dropped the previous day but claimed he was fine.
The child was taken to the nearby Mobridge hospital.
A Child Protection Services worker then arrived and the neighbor said the seven children had been running around all day unsupervised. The oldest of the children, about 11 years old, told the CPS worker that he was in charge and could take care of all of the kids.
Safe homes were found for all of the children, said the U.S. attorney in court documents.
The CPS worker also went to the Mobridge hospital to check on the baby and found that he had abrasions on his legs from sitting in the car seat for so long, bruising on his right leg and buttocks, diaper rash, air in his stomach from constant crying and a right ear infection.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Standing Rock Agency.
Hairy Chin was taken into custody at her sentencing.