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A 41-year-old woman has been spared prison after being convicted of manslaughter for failing to call 911 or alert anyone in the crucial moments after she fell on a baby in a Brooklyn Center home and inflicted fatal head injuries.
Stephanie M. Walker, 41, of Minneapolis, was sentenced Monday in Hennepin County District Court after being convicted in a bench trial of second-degree manslaughter in connection with injuring a 13-week-old boy as she held the child while going down a flight of stairs on Dec. 12, 2020, in the 6300 block of N. Orchard Avenue.
D’Juan Duprea Lee Anderson Jr. died two days later from skull fractures and severe brain swelling, the criminal complaint read. A child abuse pediatrician said that had D’Juan received prompt attention, doctors could have had a better chance at treating his injuries, the complaint said.
Judge Michael Burns set aside a sentence of 4 3⁄4 years, ordered Walker held in the workhouse for one year and put her on probation for three years. Terms of her probation include no unsupervised contact with minors.
According to the police and the complaint:
D’Juan was being watched by a woman who said she was the foster mother to the baby’s mother. The foster mother wanted to go to the store and gave in to Walker’s pleas to watch D’Juan despite concerns about Walker’s struggles with severe arthritis.
Calls from others in the home alerted the police to D’Juan being hurt. Officers provided lifesaving measures before the baby was taken by emergency medical responders to a hospital.
The investigation found that anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes passed between when Walker fell on D’Juan and the child stopped breathing.
After D’Juan died two days later, Walker told police she picked him up and headed downstairs even though “she would not normally hold a baby while standing due to the issues with her legs,” the complaint read.
Walker said she fell descending the stairs and landed on top of D’Juan. She admitted not seeking help for the baby from anyone else in the home or calling 911, “even after the [D’Juan] stopped breathing,” the complaint continued.
No prison for Minneapolis woman who failed to seek help after falling on baby who later died
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