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Woman charged with involuntary manslaughter in child's death

FORT THOMPSON — A federal grand jury indicted a Brule County woman for involuntary manslaughter and child abuse for an incident last July that killed a young child.

Bonita Keeble, 34, of Fort Thompson — also known as Bonita Hare — was indicted on April 13 and pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child abuse on June 21, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The charges stem from a July 27 incident in which Keeble allegedly killed a boy under 7 years old by "asphyxiating him in a grossly negligent manner by overlaying and smothering," court documents state.

Involuntary manslaughter is punishable upon conviction by up to eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Child abuse is punishable upon conviction by up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. In addition, each charge carries a possible punishment of three years on probation and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund, as well as restitution if ordered.

Keeble has been released on bond pending a trial, which has not yet been scheduled.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan Dilges is prosecuting.

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