A 21-year-old North Dakota mother could spend the rest of her days behind bars following the death of her 1-month-old son in a local hotel room nearly three years ago.
Williams County Court Judge Benjamen J. Johnson on friday sentenced Hannah Sage McMillin to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the asphyxiation death of her infant son in 2019, Court records Reviewed by Law & Crime show.
McMillin last year participated in a Alford’s pleas with murder in connection with her son’s death. Also known as a “best interest plea,” Alford’s plea meant that McMillin essentially accepted the outcome of a concurrent plea. declared innocence and admit it sufficient evidence to convict.
“This is a tragedy for all involved,” Judge Johnson speak before giving the sentence, per Related press.
Because she joined Alford’s plea without reaching an agreement with prosecutors, McMillin faces the maximum life sentence without the possibility of parole. The only final major difference to her sentence is the possibility of parole.
Williston Police Department officers in April 2019 responded to a 911 call involving a non-breathing baby at Four Points by Sheraton located on West 2nd Avenue, Bismarck Tribune report. Upon arrival at the scene, first responders found the infant unresponsive in a room rented by McMillin and her husband, McMillin tank.
The baby is believed to have been found underneath a pile of pillows, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Prosecutors reported said that one of the pillows near the boy’s body had “what appeared to be the imprint of a small human face” on it.
Paramedics are said to have attempted to resuscitate the child and transfer him to a nearby hospital, where he is presumed dead. According to reports, the child suffered severe bruising that covered most of his body, including his abdomen, back, sides, upper buttocks, and feet.
After hitting his child, McMillin is said to have gone to the hotel pool/spa facility.
She and her husband were both taken into custody and initially charged with each count of felony class A child abuse, according to court records.
According to the Assistant State Attorney of Williams County Nathan MaddenMcMillin confessed to killing the child in a later interview with investigators, Williston Herald report. She told police that when the baby wouldn’t stop crying, she tried to silence it by squeezing it. When that didn’t work, she allegedly placed pillows all over the child’s face and left them there until he stopped crying. McMillin said she didn’t want the baby’s cry to wake her husband.
An autopsy performed by the North Dakota Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the child’s death was a “smoke-pressing” homicide. After the medical examiner’s report was released, the charge against McMillin was upgraded to murder.
In court documents filed last year, prosecutors say tests performed on the knee area with facial markings came back positive for containing the baby’s DNA.
McMillin last year tried to retract her plea for Alford after her attorney, Kevin McCabe, reported said her husband had admitted his role in the infant’s death on taped calls from prison. Court records show that McMillin’s motion to withdraw his plea was withdrawn last month.
Tank McMillin in 2020 pleaded guilty to felony child abuse and was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison and an additional 5 years of probation, each Court records.
In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Johnson ordered McMillin to be parole for the rest of his life and to register as a child molester.
McCabe did not immediately respond to messages from Law & Crime.
[image via Williston County Jail]
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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/mom-accused-of-smothering-1-month-old-son-with-a-pillow-before-going-to-hotel-spa-is-sentenced-to-life-in-prison/ Hannah Sage McMillin sentenced for killing infant son