A young Idaho woman who survived heinous crimes as a child has recently been in trouble with the law for exposing two young children to danger.
Shasta Rae Groene pleaded guilty in April to two misdemeanor counts of injury to a child, and was ordered to serve unsupervised probation through October 2019. Court records say she endangered a 1-year-old child in her custody by leaving methamphetamine where he could ingest it, and that she also left the drug in close proximity to a month-old baby.
Groene, 21, was accused of violating the terms of her probation just a month later. On Thursday, a Canyon County judge declined to sentence her to jail time, instead again instituting 18 months of probation — but supervised this time.
Groene has talked in the past about struggles with drug use. She spoke in a 2015 KHQ interview about trying to deal with life as a “celebrity victim,” on top of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Joseph Duncan when he killed her family and abducted her and her brother in 2005.
Groene was initially charged in late December for one of the incidents, involving a child in her care or custody on Oct. 10. The second charge was added at the time of her plea deal, according to court records.
Judge Thomas Sullivan initially sentenced her to 180 days in jail, then suspended all 180 days in favor of the probation. He also granted her a withheld judgment, which means that if she successfully completed probation she could petition the court to have the charge dismissed.
The probation violation claim was filed May 10. Prosecutors received an email from Groene’s state health department caseworker, who reported that Groene had not had any contact with the health department and wasn’t going to treatment, as required.
Thursday, Groene admitted she had not reported to the Department of Health and Welfare as required by the terms of her original unsupervised probation. However, her lawyer argued that Groene has made an effort to change, finding full-time employment and consistently producing clean drug tests.
Sullivan warned Groene against giving in to backsliding.
“It’s one thing if you have a few missteps,” he said. “If you’re running, if you’re hiding, if you’re lying, that’s what’s going to get you in hot water.”
Groene became a household name nationwide in 2005, after Joseph Duncan broke into her family’s Coeur d’Alene home, killed her mother Brenda, brother Slade and stepfather Mark McKenzie, and abducted her, then 8, and her 9-year-old brother Dylan. Duncan killed Dylan in front of Shasta in Montana. Duncan took her to a restaurant in Coeur d’Alene, where a waitress recognized Shasta and called police.
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