2 Mission women sentenced for abusing children

PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Two Mission, S.D., women who admit to abusing two children have been sentenced in Federal court.

Verna Blue Thunder, 42, was sentenced to 90 months in prison after pleading guilty to child abuse.

Lorraina Stead, 26, was sentenced to time served. She pleaded guilty to simple assault of a child and aiding and abetting.

According to a release from United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler, in October 2014, two small children were placed in the defendants’ home in Mission.

Over the course of the next approximately 21 months, the children were subject to physical abuse, emotional abuse, and starvation at the hands of the defendants. The defendants repeatedly avoided attempts by the South Dakota Department of Social Services to assess the children.

After an out-of-state relative took custody of the children it was revealed that both of them were severely malnourished, and the younger child had healing fractures to both arms and two ribs.