- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

POPLAR, Mont. (AP) - The Latest on a criminal charge in the death of a baby on a Montana Indian Reservation who authorities say was killed by a caregiver (all times local):

4 p.m.

The mother of a woman charged with killing a 13-month old girl on a Montana American Indian reservation says she believes the death was accidental.

Rhea Starr told The Associated Press on Tuesday that her daughter, Janelle Red Dog, had cared for young Kenzley Olson when no one else would.

Authorities say Red Dog struck and killed the girl last week on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, then reported her as missing before confessing in her death a day later.

Red Dog pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and hindering law enforcement during a court appearance.

Starr says Kenzley was Red Dog’s niece and had been sick in recent weeks, coughing and throwing up.

Kenzley’s body was found in a dumpster in Poplar.

The girl’s mother was in jail at the time on unspecified charges.

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1:45 p.m.

A woman has been charged with murder in the beating death of a 13-month-old girl under her care on an American Indian reservation in Montana.

The Fort Peck Tribal Court clerk’s office says Janelle Red Dog pleaded not guilty during a Tuesday court appearance in Poplar.

Judge Marvin Youpee denied bond and ordered Red Dog back into custody pending a May hearing.

Authorities say the 42-year-old woman beat to death Kenzley Olson on April 19, put the body into a dumpster and reported Kenzley missing.

Defense attorney Mary Zemyan says she’s uncertain what killed Kenzley.

Tribal law allows for a maximum three-year prison sentence on any one charge. Separate federal charges also are expected in the case.

The baby’s mother was in jail on unspecified allegations when she died.

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This item has been corrected to show that Judge Marvin Youpee presided over Tuesday’s hearing

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12:05 p.m.

A prosecutor says a woman on a Montana American Indian reservation will be charged with murder in the beating death of a 13-month-old girl.

Fort Peck Tribes Chief Prosecutor Scott Seifert said Tuesday that 42-year-old Janelle Red Dog could face additional charges at a later date.

Red Dog’s attorney, Mary Zemyan, says her client will plead not guilty during a court appearance scheduled for Tuesday. Zemyan has noted the baby’s cause of death is unclear.

Red Dog is accused of beating to death Kenzley Olson while the girl was under her care, then putting the body into a dumpster and reporting Kenzley missing.

Tribal law allows for a maximum three-year prison sentence on any one charge. Separate federal charges also are expected in the case.

The baby’s mother was in jail on unspecified allegations when she died.

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10:30 a.m.

A woman is due in a tribal court in Montana on Tuesday to face charges in the alleged beating death of a 13-month-old girl under her care on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Investigators say 42-year-old Janelle Red Dog killed Kenzley Olson and put her body in a dumpster before reporting her missing April 19.

That triggered an Amber alert for Kenzley in Montana and North Dakota. It was canceled after Red Dog purportedly confessed and led authorities to the girl’s body.

Red Dog’s lawyer has said she admitted to authorities that she struck Kenzley on three occasions. But defense attorney Mary Zemyan said it was uncertain if that’s what killed the girl.

The baby’s mother was in jail on unspecified allegations when she died.

Tribal officials haven’t disclosed what charges Red Dog will face. Federal officials expect to file separate charges.

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