A Minnesota jury found a woman guilty of murder last week, after an autopsy indicated her infant son died from skull fractures.
Star Tribune reports that 26-year-old Shy Ann Hentges was found guilty of second-degree murder, in connection with the death of her 2-month-old son, Eli Arispe Hentges. She remains behind bars on a $500,000 bond, awaiting sentencing.
According to court documents, Eli passed away on April 5, 2017. A medical examiner found two skull fractures on the baby’s head and rib fractures. The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office listed the baby’s death as a homicide.
FOX 9 reports that the baby also had an “11-centimeter facial fracture” and was left in unsafe sleeping conditions.
The incident happened inside Hentges’ Braham home. When investigators questioned her, she gave several contradictory statements. Hentges first said she accidentally hit the baby’s head on a door while carrying him after a 2 a.m. feeding. She later admitted that she “maybe put (the infant) down too forcefully” in his crib.
Hentges also wrote text messages to her sister. She said she had second thoughts about “keeping this kid” and complained she wasn’t getting sleep since the baby arrived. Text messages also mentioned both alcohol and drug use.
“In a tragedy like this, [it’s] so, so preventable when you consider the resources available,” Isanti County Attorney Jeff Edlad said.
“When you consider the family members, the friends, the acquaintances, when you consider Minnesota has the safe harbor for newborns, when you consider the resources available for newborn and family services, there are so many resources available for people to reach out to.”
Under Minnesota’s “Safe Place for Newborns” law, mothers can drop newborns off at a hospital or health care facility that offers urgent care, or with an ambulance if dispatched via 911, no questions asked. The baby must be 7 days old and younger.
Sentencing for Hentges is scheduled for February 2020.