Eagle Butte Man Sentenced for Felony Child Abuse and Aiding and Abetting
Acting United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that an Eagle Butte, South Dakota, man convicted of Felony Child Abuse and Aiding and Abetting was sentenced on May 29, 2015, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.
Francis Swan, age 25, was sentenced to 30 months in custody, two years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
On or about October 18, 2014, the defendant’s 20-month-old son died as a result of blunt force trauma to the child’s head. Two months prior, Swan and Jordyn Blue Coat, his wife and co-defendant, had regained custody of their baby from a Mobridge couple who had been taking care of him since his birth. He was a difficult baby who frequently cried and was hard to console. This became difficult for the mother, and to some extent, for Swan. During the last two months of his life, the child was abused, tortured, and cruelly punished by Jordan Blue Coat for his fussy behavior.
After the child’s death, an autopsy found that he had died from blunt force trauma to his skull, which caused a subdual hemorrhage and in turn led to bilateral cerebral brain failure. But in addition to the head trauma, the child had multiple burns, contusions, abrasions, and injuries all over his body, which included chronic and acute bone fractures.
While Swan did not cause these injuries, he exposed the child to this physical abuse by the child’s mother and also failed to seek medical attention and treatment for the child’s many injuries, including the bone fractures.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the South Dakota Department of Social Services, and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mikal Hanson prosecuted the case.
Swan was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service to begin serving his sentence.