A 26-year-old Wisconsin mother and her boyfriend have been arrested for allegedly playing a role in the death of the woman’s 4-year-old daughter with special needs. Authorities in Badger State said the girl died last summer with a blood alcohol level higher than “lethal”.
Sawyer County District Attorney’s Office prosecutors charged Falkner with one count each of first-degree murder (class A felony), repeated physical abuse of a child causing bodily harm severe (class C felony) and frequent neglect of a child. resulted in death (a Class B felony), court records show. Smith is facing one count of chronic child neglect leading to death and one count of repeated corporal abuse of a child causing bodily harm.
Sawyer County Human Services is believed to have approved Falkner as the victim’s carer. He is said to have moved in with Smith and the victim in August 2020 and was paid to care for the victim.
According to the criminal complaint obtained by Minneapolis NBC affiliate KARE, the young victim was diagnosed at birth with “severe cerebral palsy” that left her unable to move, speak or eat. According to reports, she only received nutrients and hydration through a feeding tube manned by Falkner or Smith.
According to the affidavit, Emergency Medical Services staff on July 28, 2021 responded to a 911 call about an unconscious 4-year-old girl at an apartment complex located in the 15000 block of West 2nd Street in Hayward. .
Upon arrival, first responders said the girl had died at the scene. Immediately following the victim’s death, the Sawyer County Coroner’s Office reportedly did not request an autopsy, but it did take a blood sample from the victim for further analysis.
The blood sample was analyzed by the Wisconsin State Hygiene Laboratory. Tests determined that at the time of her death, the child had a blood alcohol level of 0.572 g/100mL, according to the affidavit.
For context, that’s more than seven times the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for an adult over the age of 21 to be considered It’s legal to get drunk in the state of Wisconsin. According to a recent research from the University of Notre Dame, adults need walking assistance and are at risk of going black when their BAC is between 0.20 and 0.249 percent. BAC levels between 0.25 and 0.399 are considered alcohol poisoning, and anything above 0.40% can lead to “coma initiation” and “possibly death from respiratory arrest,” the study states. clear.
After the blood analysis, the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office said the child’s body had been exhumed and an autopsy was performed. The medical examiner ruled that the victim’s mode of death was homicide and determined the cause of death to be “acute ethanol poisoning”.
“The presence of ethanol in an untreated child is consistent with intentional use by others. The level of ethanol found in her body prior to her embalming would be lethal in non-chronic individuals and possibly fatal in children of this age,” the medical examiner wrote in report, Dryden wire report. “The presence of ethanol in the subcapsular hematoma may indicate prior drug use.”
The medical examiner also noted injuries that showed signs of physical abuse.
“Healing scrapes, scrapes and fractures in this non-emergent child are also associated with non-accidental trauma,” the report states.
In interviews with detectives, Smith and Falkner allegedly admitted to being the only adults in the home around the time alcohol was introduced into the child’s system and the only ones operating her feeding tube. little.
Investigators also learned that after Falkner moved into Smith’s home, the victim suddenly began to suffer frequent injuries. According to reports, the child suffered new fractures in October 2020, November 2020, January 2021, May 2021 and June 2021.
Falkner and Smith have both been held at the Sawyer County Jail since March 1. Falkner’s bond is set at $2 million; Smith’s bond is set at $1 million. Both are scheduled to appear in court on March 28 for a preliminary hearing.
The Sawyer County Clerk’s Office, Sawyer County Human Services, and the sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to messages from Law & Crime seeking additional information about the incident.
[image via SCSO]
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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/wisconsin-couple-charged-in-death-of-4-year-old-special-needs-girl-whose-lethal-blood-alcohol-level-was-more-than-seven-times-the-legal-limit/ Samantha S. Smith and Domenic Robert Falkner Arrested: Police