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Lange held on $250,000 bond

Justice Lange

A Foster County woman is being held on $250,000 cash bond or $500,000 surety bond in cases related to the death of her child.

Justice Lange is charged with manslaughter, a Class B felony, and child neglect, a Class C felony, in Southeast District Court.

Lange is accused of recklessly causing the death of her 4-month-old son on or about July 4 in rural Stutsman County. She is also accused of failing to provide proper parental care, control and subsistence as required by law.

Law enforcement agencies began a search July 6 after it was reported Lange could not remember the last four days or what had happened to her child. The search continued on July 7, resulting in the discovery of the child’s body in weeds near a slough near Woodworth, N.D.

Judge Jay Schmitz said Lange was a resident of Foster County, but he did not ask for a specific address. Lange said she had not worked regularly for more than a year and had previously traveled with a carnival between North Dakota and Texas.

Lange answered Schmitz’s questions in soft tones that were barely audible in the courtroom. She frequently dabbed at her eyes with a tissue during the proceedings. There were no spectators but only media, guards and court staff in attendance at the hearing.

Stutsman County State’s Attorney Fritz Fremgen requested bond be set at $400,000 and Lange be subject to monitoring for drugs and alcohol through the 24/7 program if she was released.

Fremgen said Lange had outstanding warrants for shoplifting in Jamestown and a Bismarck warrant on several charges including felonies, Fremgen said.

Fremgen also said he had been contacted by Lange’s father who warned that she would flee the area if she were released.

Lange responded that her father wasn’t part of her life and contacting him was irrelevant.

Schmitz set bond at $250,000 cash or $500,000 surety with requirements that she participate in the 24/7 program and not leave the state of North Dakota if she is released.

Lange said she had applied for a court appointed attorney although none was assigned at the time of the initial appearance.

She remains in custody in the Stutsman County Correctional Center. Her next court date, a preliminary hearing, will not be scheduled until a court appointed attorney has been appointed.

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