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Jury unable to reach verdict in child abuse case

February 22, 2013 5:15 pm  •  By Jessica Holdman


The jury couldn’t reach a verdict Friday in the child abuse case against a Bismarck woman.

Janelle Mae Guy, 33, had been charged in October with Class C felony child abuse or neglect and Class A misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of minors after minors were found drinking in her apartment.

The trial lasted one day and was presided over by Judge Bruce Romanick.

According to court documents, Bismarck police officers were called to an apartment at 612 S. Ninth St. at 12:26 a.m. on Oct. 14 for a report of a loud party and minors drinking.

Bismarck police officer Noah Lindelow testified he heard voices and the sounds of people scattering when he arrived, but when Guy opened the door she told him it was only her and her daughter in the apartment.

Officers found six people younger than 21 in a back bedroom, including Guy’s 15-year-old daughter, who was described in an affidavit as “not responsive and vomiting all over herself and her bed.”

During the trial, several of the people at the party, including Guy’s daughter, gave conflicting testimony as to what happened the night of the party.

Several said Guy was present at the party while they drank. Others testified she was not there and only arrived 30 minutes before the police. Guy said she had been at Sidelines bar all evening and arrived to find the party going on.

There also was conflicting testimony on who helped Guy’s daughter to bed and how Guy reacted when police arrived.

“The pieces certainly don’t fit,” said Guy’s attorney, Amanda Harris, during closing arguments.

Burleigh County Assistant State’s Attorney Dawn Deitz said she will review the evidence before deciding whether to take the case back to trial.