Atty’s Office: Woman Won’t Serve Prison Time In Home Day Care Death

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 63-year-old Apple Valley woman has been sentenced in the death of an infant at her home day care in 2014, according to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.

The attorney’s office says 63-year-old Janet Marie Kartheiser was sentenced Wednesday to a stay of imposition of sentence, 2,500 hours of community work service (60 days each year) and five years’ probation.

Police say Kartheiser called for help on July 29, 2014 after she discovered a 3-month-old boy wasn’t moving in his crib. She told investigators that between five and 20 minutes after she placed the infant on his side for a nap, she found him face down and not breathing.

Kartheiser was charged with second-degree manslaughter.

According to the complaint, she told investigators she knew he “should not be lying face down.” She described her actions as “unforgivable.”

The death was ruled “accidental” due to “positional asphyxia” and a “compromised sleeping environment.”

She was also charged with hiding evidence.

During the investigation, police learned Kartheiser hid two blankets and a quilt behind a trash can in the furnace room. Day care laws require parents to sign off on the bedding items when they are used to swaddle babies at naptime. Police say Kartheiser did not have the required paperwork.

The defendant is the mother of actor Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell in the hit television series Mad Men. We attempted to talk with Janet Kartheiser about the charges, but neither she nor her family were available.

In addition to community service and probation, Kartheiser was also sentenced to pay a $200 fine, 1 day jail and credit for one day, no unsupervised contact with children under age 3 except her family members, no operating an in-home day care, comply with mental health directives, and standard felony conditions of probation (no possession firearms, DNA sample, law abiding, $80 surcharge, pay restitution, no alcohol or drugs, random testing, etc.).

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