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A Standing Rock woman intends to plead guilty in the killing of her 5-year-old daughter on the reservation last year.

Desarae Makes Him First, 26, is scheduled to plead guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree murder in federal court on Thursday. The offense is punishable by up to life in prison.

Makes Him First admitted killing her daughter in October by inflicting “blunt force trauma to her body,” according to a statement signed July 7, which accompanied her plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

Makes Him First said she committed the crime together with Matthew St. Pierre, also charged in the child’s death.

The relationship between the two defendants is not clear.

The preliminary autopsy found multiple bruises on the child’s body, including on her chest, left thigh, neck, face, arms and legs, according to an FBI statement earlier submitted to the court. The examination also revealed a tear in the girl’s abdomen, which resulted in internal bleeding and death, the statement reads.

The FBI said Makes Him First initially blamed the injuries on a fall down the stairs at their home on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation. Later, she reportedly admitted in one instance repeatedly punching the child in the chest because she was angry her daughter had spilled milk on clean laundry.

Makes Him First was originally charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, assault resulting in serious bodily injury to a child and child abuse.

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St. Pierre, 31, of McLaughlin, pleaded not guilty to identical charges. He is scheduled to go on trial at the federal courthouse in Aberdeen on Aug. 7.

Last week, St. Pierre’s attorney asked the court for permission to see the portion of Makes Him First’s plea agreement that is sealed from public view. Defense attorney Edward Albright said he wanted to know what the document states “in relation to any cooperation agreement between the government and Makes Him First against defendant St. Pierre.”

Makes Him First and St. Pierre are both detained at the Hughes County Jail in Pierre.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Cops and courts reporter for the Rapid City Journal