Convicted child abuser receives 18 to 23 years

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SHERIDAN — Robert Clayton Swett, the man found guilty for one count of aggravated child abuse in 4th Judicial District Court Sept. 21, will serve 18 to 23 years in prison for his crime. A 12-person jury, comprised of 10 men and two women out of Sheridan County, decided beyond a reasonable doubt that Swett did intentionally or recklessly inflict serious bodily injury upon his then 5-month-old child.

The four-day trial included testimony from medical professionals, family members of the child, law enforcement and Swett’s Sheridan County Detention Center cellmates.

During the sentencing hearing, Swett said he loves his child. He said the grandmother of the child left town with her boyfriend and “destroyed (the child’s mother’s) support system.”

He mentioned his involvement with Boy Scouts of America, enlisting in the military and being raised by his mother while his father served in the military. Swett said he would do whatever it takes to make his child safe.

“That is all I have,” Swett said. “I just need another chance.”

Defense attorney Erin Wardell mentioned an honorable discharge from the military that seemed unclear in the presentence investigation report. She also said, realistically, Swett probably had a personality disorder and would need some assistance in addressing that and will do whatever he needs to work through that.

Sheridan County Deputy and Prosecuting Attorney Darci Phillips reminded the court of Swett’s full background of confrontations with the judicial system. She played eight minutes of the phone call made by Swett to his partner and mother of the child on the second day of the trial. The phone call indicated Swett wanted to go away with his partner and work on their relationship.

Phillips also asked for $6,255.44 in restitution for prosecution costs including travel, transcription preparations and altered video technology for the trial. The altered video technology provided partial clips of interviews between law enforcement and Swett during investigation at the Sheridan County Detention Center. The prosecution used those clips as evidence to show before the jury during trial. She confirmed the state itemized the list of restitution requests before the completion of the presentence investigation report. Wardell asked the state not to impose the restitution.

The court finalized Swett’s judgment and sentence with an 18-to-23-year prison sentence with credit for time served and fees totaling $6,795, not including restitution.

By |December 19th, 2017|

About the Author:

Ashleigh Fox joined The Sheridan Press in October 2016 as the government, cops and courts reporter. She is a native of Colorado and graduated from Biola University in Los Angeles, CA. Before working in Sheridan, she worked as a sports editor for the Sidney Herald in Sidney, MT. Email Ashleigh at: ashleigh.fox@thesheridanpress.com

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