A Cass County woman convicted in November on numerous charges associated with faking her 5-year old daughter’s cancer received 5-years of probation Tuesday, instead of a minimum of two-years probation or a maximum of 21-years in prison. In November, 30-year old Leatha Kaye Slauson, of Atlantic, plead guilty to two counts of child endangerment, one of administering harmful substances, one of theft and one of unlawful possession of a prescription drug. Slauson admitted to giving her daughter Riley Cannabis Oil and Neupogen without a prescription. She also admitted she raised money for her daughter’s supposed cancer treatment, under false pretenses.
Leatha Slauson reads a statement to the court.
District Court Judge Kathleen Kilnoski issued the order against Slauson. Because of the nature of the offenses, counts one and two were ordered to be served consecutively, with remaining sentences to be served concurrently. She also must continue mental health treatment and not contact her five children unless requested by her therapist.
The decision came down after nearly an hour of testimony from a mental health professional, Slauson’s uncle and Leatha Slauson herself, during which she apologized for her actions, but admitted she “Still needs work,” in the area of mental health, to deal with the “voices” in her head, and the “Shadow figures” she used to see before she was placed on medication.
As part of her probation agreement, Slauson was ordered to make restitution, with a hearing to take place later to determine the means and method for which that is accomplished. There is still a little more than half of the $30,000 donated in a special bank account that can be used toward restitution. Slauson will not have to reside at a Residential Correctional Facility. The judge decided the 90-days the woman had served and progress she’s made through mental health counseling and medications was sufficient.
Leatha Slauson enters the courtroom prior to hear sentencing hearing. Judge Kathleen Kilnoski is behind her.
Slauson’s attorney Jay Mez had asked for a deferred judgement of conviction, meaning the woman would have no criminal record, but the judge disagreed. Kilnoski said “I think you need to have a criminal record that will alert the public to your behavior, so that others can be en guard, so that no other child potentially could be hurt, no other vulnerable adult could potentially be hurt by your actions.”