Cody Woman Who Clawed Husband In Face Now Charged With Elder Abuse

A Cody woman who pleaded guilty to clawing her husband’s face and ear also faces charges of intentional elder abuse for allegedly assaulting her mother. She faces 20 years in prison.

Clair McFarland

March 12, 20244 min read

Park County courthouse
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

Accused of clawing and hitting her 82-year-old mother, a Cody woman could face up to 20 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

Dawn Scott, who turns 47 this year, is charged with two counts of intentional elder abuse, a felony. Her case rose from the circuit court level to the felony-level Park County District Court on Friday. And on Monday, Park County deputy attorney Larry Eichele asked the judge to set a hearing for Scott to give her plea.

The investigation started Dec. 10, when Scott was arrested for domestic battery for scratching up her husband’s face at their home on Canyon View in Cody.

When Cody Police Department officers arrived, they found Scott in a bedroom with her 82-year-old mother, who was lying on the floor, says an evidentiary affidavit filed in the case.

Scott told police her mother had fallen while searching for a purse in the closet. Court documents in a related case say Harris smelled alcohol on Scott, and she was crying.

A later breath test showed a breath alcohol reading of 0.138, court documents say.

‘Has A Temper’

CPD Sgt. John Harris noticed the mother’s arm was bleeding, and she had other physical issues. Harris helped the woman into a chair and called for an ambulance, says the affidavit.

The mother confided to emergency medical personnel that Scott had hit her, because Scott “has a temper,” the document alleges.

Officer Justin Dollard went to Cody Regional Health that evening to talk to Dr. Kirk Bollinger.

Noting a lump on the woman’s head, tears in the flesh of her left hand and right forearm, and swelling below the knee of her left leg, Bollinger said he suspected elder abuse, says the affidavit.

Slashes in the woman’s right forearm looked like fingernail gouges to Dollard, reportedly.

“Officer Dollard found this of particular interest, as earlier in the evening, Scott injured her husband, Brent Benson, by clawing/scratching his face,” says the affidavit.

Bollinger also noted older injuries. He said it looked like the mother had been enduring physical trauma for some time.

The Husband’s Case

Scott pleaded guilty to domestic abuse March 6, for scratching her husband’s face and ear. The affidavit in that case says the pair were arguing and Benson left home with their young child. He’d later tell police he was scared to return home with the boy.

Benson also had an older bruise round his right eye, which he indicated was from days prior.

Out Of The Chair

Dollard went to visit the mother in her room the night of Scott’s arrest. She was alert and sharp, the affidavit says.

The woman said her scratch marks were about a week old, and the bump on her head was from that evening.

The altercation started after the older woman decided to get out of her chair, she said. It was hard for her to do without help, but she wanted to get up and look for her purse because her daughter, Scott, had been talking about being short of money and about her mother not contributing financially, says the document.

“(She) decided that she would look for her purse and give her daughter some money to help out,” the affidavit says.

“That’s when things went sour,” she added.

Scott allegedly came in, angry, and got physical with her.

The affidavit says the mother fell down and had to scoot on her “fanny” back toward her chair while her daughter hit her on the head.

When Scott is under pressure, “things get tense,” the affidavit relates from the mother’s interview.

Scott’s case is ongoing in Park County District Court.

Meanwhile, Scott’s husband Brent Benson filed for divorce eight days after Scott’s arrest.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter