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Teen Mother Charged In Death Of Toddler

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Melissa Louise Hokanson (credit: Dakota County Sheriff's Office)

Melissa Louise Hokanson (credit: Dakota County Sheriff’s Office)

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HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) – The 19-year-old Minnesota mother accused of failing to get medical help for her toddler is facing manslaughter and child neglect charges.

The Dakota County attorney has charged Melissa Louise Hokanson in the death of 17-month-old Nicholas Miller. The child’s stepfather, Tylar Hokanson, was previously convicted in the child’s death. He was accused of shaking the toddler so hard it caused bleeding in his brain, a broken back, blunt force trauma and other injuries. The boy died June 23, 2009 at a relative’s house in Pierce County, Wis., four days after he was injured.

A criminal complaint filed against the boy’s mother says she watched the child’s health decline over four days until his death, but did not get medical care for him.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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