MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 46-year-old Farmington day care provider was sentenced Tuesday in connection with the July 2012 death of a 3-month-old at her in-home day care.
Rebecca Lynn Graupmann was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 80 hours of community service and issued a $500 fine in the death of Kaiden Robert Staebell. Graupmann had been charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter in the boy’s death as well as endangerment of a child, neglect of a child and interference with a death scene.
She pleaded guilty to one felony count of second-degree manslaughter in the case and had the other charges dismissed.
According to court documents, Staebell in Graupmann’s care on July 31, 2012, when police were called to the residence on a report that a boy had stopped breathing and was unresponsive.
Graupmann initially told police that Staebell fell asleep in his car seat after she fed him around 1:45 p.m. or 2 p.m. that day. She said he was “perfectly fine” when she checked on him but then around 3 p.m., she noticed his skin was blue and cold.
Graupmann later changed her story after investigators asked her about a wet spot and what appeared to be blood on a comforter, in a bedroom at the home. She then said she laid the boy down on the bed earlier to change his diaper and said he took a nap on the bed earlier that morning.
Investigators questioned her again, saying that wasn’t consistent with the wet spot found after 3 p.m. Graupmann then said, “I freaked out. I am sorry.”
Staebell’s mother told police she gave Graupmann specific instructions to have him sleep on his back and that he likes to pull blankets over his head so needs to be watched carefully during naps. Graupmann told police she put Staebell on the bed, on his back and that his head was turned to the side when she found him not breathing. She said he was cold, his lips were blue and he had blood around his nose.
She said she often lets Staebell sleep on her couch or bed and has never had issues in the past. She also said she believed it was safe for him to sleep on his side. The medical examiner conducted an autopsy of Staebell and determined the infant died of probable positional asphyxia.