FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE : Thursday, July 12, 2012
CONTACT: Sara Rabern, (605) 773-3215
Two Individuals Arrested on Child Abuse Charges and Failure to Notify Law Enforcement of Death of Child Charges
PIERRE, S.D - Attorney General Marty Jackley and Charles Mix County States Attorney Pam Hein said today that Taylor Cournoyer, 21, Wagner and Laurie Cournoyer, 28, Wagner have been arrested and each charged with one count of abuse or cruelty to a minor as a felony, class 3 felony, maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and/or a $30,000 fine and failure to notify law enforcement of death of child, class 5 felony, maximum penalty of 5 years and/or $10,000 fine. These arrests are in connection to the death of the 2-year old child that was found dead on July 4th in Wagner, South Dakota. The next expected court date is scheduled for July 17, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at the Charles Mix County Courthouse.
Taylor Cournoyer and Laurie Cournoyer are presumed innocent until such time as proven guilty.
South Dakota Legislators passed a new law this year modeled after "Caylee's Law," which was passed in Florida in response to the death 2-year-old Caylee Anthony, who wasn't reported missing until 31 days after she vanished in 2008 in Orlando. The law makes the failure to notify law enforcement of death of child a felony. Any parent, legal guardian, or caretaker who knowingly fails to notify law enforcement within six hours of learning of the death of a minor child in his or her care is guilty of a Class 5 felony.