Pipeline protester’s elderly endangerment case dismissed

Authorities have dismissed one criminal case against a woman accused of abusing her elderly mother during protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.

Fifty-nine-year-old Kathleen Bennett was accused of leaving her 82-year-old mother with dementia tied to a chair in a protest camp. The woman was taken to a hospital during a blizzard last December.

Bennett earlier this year pleaded not guilty to endangering a vulnerable adult.

The Bismarck Tribune reports that the defense and prosecution agreed Tuesday to dismiss the case with $2,050 in fines. Authorities said Bennett is in Nevada with limited funds, and there also were difficulties with getting witnesses for a trial next week.

Bennett also is charged with exploiting her mother by using $1,200 of her money without consent. That case is set for trial in January.