Price pleads guilty in death of toddler

A Brookings man pleads guilty to first-degree manslaughter for his role in the 2019 death of a two-year-old girl.

Robert Price, Jr. entered the plea as part of a deal with the state. The remaining charges will be dismissed and the state is recommending 40 years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary. The defense can argue for less.

Renae Fayant was earlier sentenced to 75-years in prison for her role in the case. The two were indicted by a Brookings County Grand Jury in the death of the girl. She was Fayant’s niece. Fayant admitted being the primary caregiver for the little girl and did not dispute that the child had died because of malnourishment and dehydration. Fayant admitted that she caused the little girl’s death.

Brookings County State’s Attorney Dan Nelson issued the following statement: “After today’s guilty plea, we’re finally able to bring closure to this case. Law enforcement and our office worked hard throughout the process to ensure justice was delivered on behalf of the victim and her family.”

Nelson says it was clear that Fayant was primarily responsible for the victim. He says Price had knowledge of what was happening and refused to act. Nelson says the 40-year sentence recommendation is appropriate.

Sentencing is set for November 30.


November 3, 2021