Hutchinson Woman Charged With Trying To Smother Child At St. Paul Hospital
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A 24-year-old Hutchinson woman was charged Friday with three crimes involving her 5-month-old infant son.
According to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, Katie Elaine Lewis was charged with one count each of Endangerment of a Child, Domestic Assault by Strangulation, and Third-Degree Assault.
Lewis made her first appearance in Ramsey County District Court Friday afternoon.
According to the criminal complaint, St. Paul Police responded to a 911 call from a staffer at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul on Wednesday. Lewis brought her infant in the previous day for tests, and hospital workers found nothing wrong with him. Staff became suspicious when Lewis insisted that her infant had stopped breathing and turned blue.
Around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a staffer witnessed Lewis pinching her infant’s nose while covering his mouth. The infant “kicked frantically when he could not breathe.”
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi hailed the hospital staffer for halting the crime. “This is a sad and terrifying act by a mother against her infant son. Thankfully a quick-acting hospital staffer stepped in to stop the assault, and now the infant is in good condition and in a secure location,” said Choi.
In a Mirandized interview, Lewis told authorities that beginning in February 2012, her infant stopped breathing on several occasions.
Lewis confessed that she wanted to “do something so that medical staff could find something and help (her child) sooner.”
She also admitted that she had knowledge of CPR, and therefore knew how relatively little pressure was needed to stop her infant’s airflow.
In a statement from the director of the Minnesota Children’s Resource Center at Children’s Hospital, the infant sustained “substantial bodily harm.”
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.