LOCAL NEWS

STEPHENS COUNTY WOMAN SENTENCED TO SERVE 15 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR CHILD ABUSE


OKLAHOMA CITY – Earlier this week, CAITLYN CHEYENNE DOWNS, 24, of Stephens County, was sentenced to serve 180 months in federal prison for child abuse in Indian Country, announced U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.

On December 7, 2022, a federal grand jury returned a three-count Indictment against Downs, charging her with murder in the second degree and two counts of child abuse. The Indictment alleges that between May 11, 2022, and September 20, 2022, Downs willfully failed to protect two minor children from harm or threatened harm and that Downs was responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of the children.

According to public record, Downs left three minor children in the care of another adult on several occasions in 2022, and willfully ignored warning signs that the adult was physically abusive toward the children. In September 2022, one of the children died as a result of a head injury sustained during such abuse. 

On August 29, 2023, Downs was charged by a one-count Superseding Information with child abuse, to which she pleaded guilty.

This case is in federal court because Downs is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the crime occurred within the boundaries of the Chickasaw Nation.

At the sentencing hearing on Wednesday of this week, U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot sentenced Downs to serve 180 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. In announcing the sentence, the court noted the seriousness of the offense, adding that Downs was “appallingly dismissive” when she was alerted the children were continuously being abused in 2022.

This case is a result of an investigation by the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office and the Duncan Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany Edgmon and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kaleigh Blackwell are prosecuting the case.

Reference is made to public filings for more information.