Ethete Woman Pleads Guilty To Voluntary Manslaughter For Killing Her Baby
An Ethete woman pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter when she killed her baby in March, during a hearing in federal court in Casper on Tuesday.
Ardis Sierra Enos, who was 20 at the time of her arrest and an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, was initially charged with first degree murder, according to federal court records.
As part of the plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Enos pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with her sentence set at 11 years.
The case began March 27 when a emergency room doctor at the Lander Regional Hospital called the FBI to report Enos had been admitted for complications. Enos told the doctor she had given birth to a still-born baby and buried it in the yard of a residence in Ethete, according to the affidavit of FBI Special Agent David Donati and filed with U.S. District Court.
The Fremont County Coroner searched the area, which is outside the Wind River Indian Reservation, and found the body of a baby boy wrapped in a towel, according to the affidavit.
Enos told investigators she realized she was pregnant about four months into her pregnancy. She didn't tell anyone because she felt scared, nor did she seek prenatal care.
She kept in contact with the baby's father until December 2013, but didn't tell him, either. No one pressured her to abort the baby and she does not believe in abortion.
She had the baby at her home alone on March 26. After the birth, she laid the baby down. The baby was crying. She was losing a lot of blood through her umbilical cord, panicked, and blocked the infant's airway.
After the baby died, she wrapped it in a towel and placed him in a ditch on her property. Her family came home that evening, but she didn't tell them she had given birth.
"On the morning of March 27,2014, due to her deteriorating health and Enos feeling as if she was at her 'end point', Enos finally consented to go to the hospital where it was discovered she had been pregnant," according to the affidavit.