Taylor and Laurie Cournoyer made their first appearance in court Tuesday afternoon for their involvement in the death of 2-year old RieLee Lovell. But they weren't the only ones who showed up to the Charles Mix County Courthouse. One group gathered to give a voice to those who can't speak for themselves.
It's a song sung by strangers, a song to help carry the spirit of RieLee Lovell up to heaven.
"Our message goes out to that little girl and the family, we pray for her, we pray for every day since she left us and her spirit brought us here today." Said Robin Bair.
The handful of protesters gathered specifically for the Cournoyer's first court appearance. The group calls themselves concerned parents against meth. While details of what caused RieLee's death have not be revealed, these vocal protesters believe the drug lifestyle of the reservation played a significant role.
"That little girl was tortured to death and methamphetamine was the cause of it, every day even as we stand here today there's a child being starved, a child being tortured because of methamphetamine." Said Francis Zephyr.
Court documents showed the Cournoyers were on marijuana, meth, and sleeping pills prior to RieLee's body being found in a closet.
Protester Robin Bair is calling for stricter drug enforcement, from tribal police all the way up to federal agents to help stop the epidemic on the reservation.
"Methamphetamine effects everybody! Whether you're white, black, Hispanic, or Indian, this drug is killing our people and we're tired of it! We want it out of here!" Said Bair.
This group knows their voices are few, but they hope their song starts a fire so no one else has to bear the pain of losing a child to drugs.
"To RieLee's family, we pray for them and just hope something good comes out of this, this terrible thing and that she rests in peace." Said Zephyr.
The Cournoyers are both being held on $500,000 bonds and will be back in court on July 31st. At this time, there is still no word on charges for the couple's 11-year old son
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:48 PM EST2013-12-04 03:48:06 GMT
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