Mother pleads guilty to assault after severely burning child’s hands

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A judge sentenced an Eagle Butte woman to a year behind bars for severely burning her child.

Leilih Smart pleaded guilty to assault. In exchange, prosecutors dropped child abuse charges.

Court documents say she’d been trying to potty train one of her children in 2018. When the child made a mess around the toilet, Smart held the child’s hand under running water. The documents say she knew that the water heater was having problems, making the water very hot at times.

The mother later took the child to Indian Health Services, where health officials say the child’s hands and wrists had extensive burns and the skin was peeling off.

The child was taken to the Burn Center in Minnesota.

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