A Bismarck woman will spend at least three years in prison for felony child abuse after a 10-year-old went to school with a black eye.
South Central District Judge Bruce Haskell sentenced Chanita Parrish, 28, Monday to five years with all but three suspended for two class C felonies. She also will be on supervised probation for two years following release and receive a host of treatments for anger management, chemical dependency, parenting, domestic violence and possibly mental health.
Parrish was charged with the crime after the child told police that Parrish, who was allegedly drunk, had slammed his face into a bathroom counter.
Parrish's attorney, Donald Sauviac, told the judge his client suffered from mental health issues and made the argument she should be put on probation while she went through treatment.
"I don't see prison as a fix ... Putting her in a jail cell and slamming the door is not the solution," he said.
Given the opportunity, Parrish promised the judge she would work with Burleigh County Social Services and wouldn't re-offend.
"I love and miss my kids," she said, sobbing.
But Haskell said Parrish had already been given multiple opportunities to cooperate with social services and his concern was with protecting the children involved. He said the prison sentence would accomplish that while also giving her access to treatment.
Haskell also handed down a concurrent 360-day sentence for a pair of misdemeanors, in which Parrish had violated no-contact orders with the children. Parrish will receive credit for the 69 days she already has served in jail.