Written by The Herald-News
C’erra Dawn Clark was sentenced in U.S. District Court on Friday, July 26, to 33 months in prison in connection with her guilty plea to assault resulting in serious bodily injury.
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on July 26, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, Clark, a 23-year-old resident of Poplar, was sentenced to a term of 33 months in prison, a special assessment of $100 and three years supervised release.
In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On March 18, 2012, Clark became frustrated and shook her infant child and threw the infant on the bed. Clark admitted to law enforcement that she had shaken the baby. Another individual witnessed this, and recalled seeing Clark shake the baby enough to “really upset him.” Shortly after Clark shook her, the baby began having seizures.
The child was taken to the local hospital then transported out of state to a Colorado children’s hospital, where she was diagnosed with retinal hemorrhages and underwent an operative procedure involving the placement of a bilateral subdural-peritoneal shunt. The child’s diagnosis for fully-restored sight is “guarded,” as described by medical personnel.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the “truth in sentencing” guidelines mandate that Clark will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, she does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for “good behavior.” However, this reduction will not exceed 15 percent of the overall sentence.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigation Division.