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Woman accused of locking children in cages to serve 2½ years

GRAFTON, N.D.--A Grafton woman will spend about 2 1/2 years in prison after investigators accused her of locking young children in dog kennels to punish them.

Jordan McKay Nelson
Jordan McKay Nelson

GRAFTON, N.D.-A Grafton woman will spend about 2½ years in prison after investigators accused her of locking young children in dog kennels to punish them.

Judge Lee Christofferson on Friday sentenced Jordan McKay Nelson, 24, in Walsh County District Court to five years in prison, half of which she must serve, on four counts of child neglect or abuse - one a Class B felony and the others Class C felonies. Nelson also faced four Class C felony counts of felonious restraint, but those charges were dismissed after she signed a plea agreement in which she entered an Alford plea, meaning she does not admit to the charges but agrees prosecutors have enough evidence to convict her in court.

The remaining 2½ years of Nelson's sentence was suspended, and she will be placed on supervised probation for 2½ years after her release from prison. If she violates her parole, she could be resentenced for the charges.

Nelson also was ordered to pay $4,485 in court and victim fees. She received 15 days of credit for time served.

Investigators arrested Nelson in mid-February 2015 after four children younger than 10 at the time-the youngest was 5-said Nelson locked them in dog kennels in a basement of a Grafton home and turned the lights off as a form of punishment, according to court documents. One complaint stated Nelson forced a child to eat dog food, causing him to become sick.

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The treatment of the children was enough to cause them "permanent mental injury," investigators said in court documents. Victim statements submitted to the court were sealed.

Nelson was not the mother of the children, according to court documents.

Christofferson replaced Judge Richard Geiger in the case after Geiger recused himself.

Related Topics: CRIME
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