A Rapid City-area woman has been sentenced to 6 decades in prison for killing a 2-year old girl she was caring for in Box Elder two years ago.
24-year old Precious Black Elk of Box Elder was originally charged with murder, but a plea deal last month saw her plead Guilty, but Mentally Ill to a reduced count of 1st-degree manslaughter.
An autopsy put the cause of death as asphyxiation.
In handing down the 60-year sentence, Judge Jeffrey Connolly said the events leading to the death were “horrendous” and that Black Elk was not legally insane at that time.
At a change of plea hearing last month, Black’s Elk’s attorney said when the girl wouldn’t sleep, her client hit the toddler with her hand and what appeared to be part of a wooden bed frame, then wrapped her head in a blanket.