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Brookings woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in niece’s death

Renae Fayant
Renae Fayant(Brookings County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 10:20 AM CDT
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A Brookings woman has pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in connection to the death of her niece.

Twenty-seven-year-old Renae Fayant entered the plea in a Brookings County court Tuesday afternoon.

The charges stem from an incident in the summer of 2019 where police found a three-year-old girl dead at a Brookings home. An autopsy confirmed she died of malnourishment and dehydration.

Fayant and another man who was at the home, 29-year-old Robert Price, Jr., were both charged in the child’s death. Fayant was the girl’s aunt, and was caring for her at the time. Investigators say they deprived the toddler of food and water and kept her in a confined space in a filthy home.

KJJQ Radio reports in court Tuesday afternoon, Fayant admitted she was the primary caregiver for the girl and did not dispute that the child had died because of malnourishment and dehydration. She also admitted that she caused the girl’s death.

In exchange for the guilty plea, the state agreed to dismiss counts of second-degree murder and abuse or cruelty to a minor. The state also agreed to a maximum sentence of 75 years in prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

The case against Price is still pending.

Renae Fayant, left, and Robert Price
Renae Fayant, left, and Robert Price(Brookings County Sheriff's Office)

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