Federal charges: Woman stabbed 2 children, set home on fire before fleeing with 3rd child

A Red Lake woman is facing federal charges in connection with the deaths of two young children on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger.

Jennifer Marie Stately, 35, was charged with one count of premeditated murder, one count of murder while committing child abuse, one count of murder while committing arson, one count of arson and one count of felony child neglect. Court officials said she appeared in court today and was ordered to remain in custody pending further court proceedings.

Prosecutors allege that on March 15, Stately killed two young children before setting the home on fire. According to the news release, she fatally stabbed the first child and the second child suffered non-fatal stab wounds but died due to smoke inhalation from the fire.

Stately then fled the scene with a third child and an AMBER Alert was issued.

A motorist saw Stately’s vehicle and called law enforcement, who found Stately and brought the child to safety. Authorities say he was suffering visible signs of child neglect.

“This case is another example of how AMBER Alerts save lives. They get critical information out
quickly to millions of Minnesotans willing to step up to help rescue a child in mortal danger,” BCA
Superintendent Drew Evans said. “We are grateful to the Minnesotan who acted quickly and bravely in
this case, and to all Minnesotans who join in the search when a child needs them most.”

Stately had been charged with third-degree assault on a victim under four years old, child torture, malicious punishment of a child and neglect of a child in Todd County, where she was arrested, but the charges were later dismissed.

“This tragic case demonstrates the importance of close working relationships between the U.S.
Attorney’s Office and our state, federal and tribal law enforcement partners. Together, we are able to
bring charges swiftly in cases such as this on behalf of the most vulnerable among us,” said U.S.
Attorney Andrew Luger.