Babysitter sentenced to 21 years for death of 9-month-old boy

A Brooklyn Center babysitter faces more than 21 years in prison after being sentenced Monday for the death of a 9-month-old baby who was in her care.

“There are so many things I want to say,” said Kristine Senogles, the victim’s grandmother, in court Monday. “But it all comes down to, he was my first grandchild and I don’t know if I’ll be a grandma again.”

One by one, Colton Senogles’ family and loved ones shared their grief and anguish with the court.

Their beautiful 9-month-old son and grandson was assaulted and abused by trusted friend and babysitter Jennifer Baldwin.

“Jennifer took away from us his first steps, his first words, his first Easter, his first birthday and his baptism was held in the ICU at North Memorial,” said Cindy O’Brien, the victim’s grandmother.

A jury found Baldwin guilty of second-degree murder last month.

Prosecutors asked Hennepin County Judge Jamie Anderson to double the standard prison sentence for the crime to 30 years behind bars due to the victim’s vulnerability, his young age and his inability to speak and protect himself.

Baldwin’s defense team countered by asking for less prison time, arguing that testimony never actually determined what caused the child’s fatal injuries back in March 2018.

In the end, Anderson sent Baldwin away for 255 months, or about 21 years in prison.

It won’t be enough, however, for the infant’s shattered family.

“He was the nicest little boy, always smiling,” said Senogles’ mother. “Can’t imagine how anyone would want to hurt him.”

Baldwin's attorneys said they will immediately appeal this conviction, arguing the evidence doesn't add up when it comes to abusive head injuries, suggesting the boy might have been hurt prior to her care. 

As for the boy's loved ones, they call themselves "Team Colton" and they're committed to spreading his positive spirit by painting rocks with his photos on them and asking via social media for people to leave them all over the world.