Brookings woman sentenced to 75 years for 2019 death of niece

Renae Fayant
Renae Fayant(Brookings County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 2:01 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A Brookings woman was sentenced to 75 years in prison for the 2019 malnourishment death of her three-year-old niece.

Judge Gregory Stoltenburg sentenced Ranae Fayant on Wednesday in accordance with a plea agreement. Fayant was sentenced to 75 years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

Twenty-seven-year-old Renae Fayant pled guilty to first-degree manslaughter in July. 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.

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 with 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.

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.

The case against Price is still pending.

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