Cutburth sentenced in connection with baby’s death

Posted at 3:14 PM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-01 17:14:02-04

(GREAT FALLS) Misty Marie Cutburth was sentenced on Wednesday in connection with the death of her child in 2016.

Cutburth was sentenced to 10 years, with all time suspended, to the Montana State Prison.

Cutburth must enroll in drug treatment court and successfully complete it or she will be sent to prison.

Before sentencing, the prosecution stated that the Department of Family Services says Cutburth has been seeking more services than they have been requiring, and she has been forthright with her treatment providers.

Both attorneys also addressed the difficulties in the case.

Judge Greg Pinski stressed that this case has always been a criminal endangerment case, not a homicide case.

Pinski said, "The bottom line is that the Legislature will not allow this court to send a non-violent first-time felony offender to prison when lower costs and more effective community supervision options are available. For those who would want the defendant to go to prison, under our system it simply would not happen."

Pinski went on to say that treatment court is not an easy way out, and it is one of the most difficult programs in the justice system.

(APRIL 29, 2016) Misty Marie Cutburth of Great Falls is facing a criminal charge in connection with the January death of her 10-month old daughter. Cutburth was charged on Thursday with one count of felony criminal endangerment.

On January 12th, police responded to a call of an unresponsive child at the apartment Cutburth shared with her two children and her boyfriend on the 600 block of 4th Avenue South. The 911 caller, a neighbor, stated, "We’ve got a child that’s not breathing."  The occupants of the apartment had conflicting stories about how the infant was found.

According to court documents, police say the room where the baby slept was "freezing cold," and the window was found open. The outside temperature that night was approximately 32 degrees. Medical personnel say the child’s body temperature did not register on the thermometer, which starts registering at 86 degrees. She was pronounced dead at Benefis Health System hospital shortly after; the child’s surface temperature was reportedly 78 degrees.

An autopsy could not pinpoint a cause of death, but prosecutors say tests determined that she had been exposed to "chronic methamphetamine use" during the final weeks of her life.

Charging documents say Cutburth has a 2013 conviction for drug paraphernalia in Idaho, and the Montana Department of Family Services had been called to the home twice in October 2015 over concerns about the mother’s drug use.

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