A Spearfish woman was sentenced to six years in prison with three years suspended after her two-year-old grandchild allegedly ingested methamphetamine in January.

Michelle Rae Humann was recently sentenced at the state court in Deadwood after pleading guilty to felony child abuse, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison, according to court records. She received 126 days of credit for time served.

As part of her plea deal, prosecutors dropped charges of meth possession, drug paraphernalia possession, drug ingestion, keeping a place for the use of drugs and knowing a child is present while using drugs, court records say. They also dismissed a document that said Humann had three prior criminal convictions, which would have allowed the judge to hand down a harsher sentence. 

Court records do not say what Humann admitted to or if she explained how her granddaughter accessed the meth when she pleaded guilty, but she admitted she relapsed and made a serious mistake in a February letter she wrote to Judge Eric Strawn. 

"Due to my beliefs someone I love with every fiber in my heart was hurt," Humann wrote, adding that she has a support system and was sober for a year before she was arrested. 

Humann asked to join drug court or be sent to an intensive meth treatment center, but Strawn denied the request, records show. 

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The 2-year-old's urine sample tested positive for meth after her parents took her to the hospital late in the evening on Jan. 7, according to a probable cause affidavit. 

"Her behavior was consistent with someone who is high on meth," the officer wrote. "She was constantly moving, repeating herself, repeating the same physical gestures over and over, slurring her words and pointing at different parts of her body saying 'owie!'"

The child's parents said they don't use drugs and voluntarily gave urine samples that tested negative, the affidavit says. The mother said she believed the child's grandmother, who has a history of meth use, to be sober, and was watching her daughter on Jan. 6 and 7. 

When the officer spoke with Humann, the affidavit says, she allegedly admitted that someone else had been smoking meth in her bathroom and showed the officer white powder on the bathroom vanity that looked like it had been smeared with a hand. The officer said he found two meth bongs, a meth pipe, four snort tubes and other drug paraphernalia in the home.

The officer arrested Humann and took her to the Spearfish Police Department where she allegedly tested positive for meth, the affidavit says. 


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— Contact Arielle Zionts at arielle.zionts@rapidcityjournal.com

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