Rosebud Sioux woman to see mental evaluation in abuse case

Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota. Photo from North Dakota Tourism Department

A federal judge has ordered a mental evaluation for a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota who has been charged with child abuse.

Michelle Wounded Face, 24, is accused of leaving her two daughters, aged 2 and 4, alone in car on a freezing-cold day. The incident occurred last month on the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota.

Federal prosecutors and the defense supported the request for a mental evaluation. Wounded Face's comments and behavior have called her competency into question.

The evaluation is likely to take place at a Bureau of Prisons medical facility in Minnesota, the Associated Press reported. An attempt to have Wounded Face placed at the the North Dakota State Hospital apparently fell through when the hospital refused to accept her, KXMB-TV reported.

After the evaluation is complete, Judge Daniel Hovland will hold a hearing on her mental condition, the AP reported.

Wounded Face's daughters survived being left alone in the car near Lake Sakakawea on the reservation. Their present whereabouts have not been reported.

Get the Story:
Mom accused of leaving kids to die to get mental health exam (AP 2/4)
State Hospital Won't Voluntarily Take Woman Charged with Child Abuse (KXMB 1/29)

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