- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A woman from South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is accused of killing her 2-year-old son, a boy whose father is awaiting trial in last year’s death of the child’s half brother.

The son of Katrina Shangreaux, 28, had bruises, bite marks and other injuries, and investigators believe a potty-training issue triggered the killing on July 28, FBI Special Agent Mark Lucas said in an affidavit filed July 29 in U.S. District Court.

The boy was in his mother’s custody and living at his grandmother’s home in Porcupine. The grandmother “reported to agents that Katrina was ‘arguing with’ (the boy) regarding a potty-training issue,” Lucas wrote, adding that her statement and the boy’s injuries “are strong indicators of child physical abuse triggered by potty training.”

Shangreaux, who also goes by Katrina White Whirlwind, is charged with first-degree murder and could face life in prison if convicted. Neil Fulton, head of the federal public defender’s office for the Dakotas, said Tuesday that Shangreaux is presumed innocent.

“Particularly in a case alleging death of a child, there is often an improper impulse in society to rush to judgment when in reality these types of cases are often very complicated in many respects,” he said.

The boy was the half brother of a 1-year-old who authorities allege was slain in April 2015 by the father of the two boys. James Shangreaux Sr. is accused of abusing the boy, causing head and brain injuries. He’s scheduled for a federal trial in January in Rapid City on murder and child abuse counts to which he has pleaded not guilty. He also could face life in prison if convicted.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann granted Shangreaux a 12-hour furlough on Aug. 3 so he could attend the funeral of the son he had with Katrina Shangreaux, court documents show.

The mother of the other boy, Emmy Rouillard, pleaded guilty in federal court to felony child abuse or neglect and was sentenced in June to 2½ years in prison. Her boyfriend, Robert Red Shirt, also pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to four years in prison. Authorities say the two injured the boy during a fight in which Rouillard had used the child as a “human shield,” about three weeks before his death.

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Follow Blake Nicholson on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/NicholsonBlake


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