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Plankinton couple indicted for manslaughter in death of 3-year-old daughter

Details of the incident remain unknown to the public

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PLANKINTON — A Plankinton couple are facing manslaughter and child abuse charges after a grand jury indicted them for their roles in a June incident that led to the death of a 3-year-old girl.

Katrina Birmeier and Dartanian Norton, both 27-year-old Plankinton residents, were each indicted Wednesday, Oct. 13, on charges of second-degree manslaughter, child abuse, possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia after authorities were called to their home on June 25.

Birmeier's 3-year-old daughter died the same day at Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell. According to a GoFundMe account that was set up in the daughter's honor, her sister was also hospitalized for a "few days."

No police report or arrest affidavit has been filed through the Aurora County Courthouse, so the details of the incident remain unknown to the public.

The grand jury heard testimony from an Aurora County deputy and a special agent with the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

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Both Birmeier and Norton had their bond set at $10,000. Days after paying their bond, an Aurora County judge altered their bond and ordered the Aurora County clerk to refund each defendant $5,000.

Second-degree manslaughter, defined as the reckless killing of another in a manner that does not fit the definition of murder, is a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison, a $20,000 fine or both.

Child abuse is a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison, a $30,000 fine or both.

Birmeier and Norton are due to appear in an Aurora County courtroom on Dec. 15 for a status hearing.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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