BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (FOX 9) - A 39-year-old woman has been charged after a baby left in her care died days after she allegedly did not seek medical help for the infant following a fall down the stairs, according to the criminal complaint.
Tuesday, Stephanie Monique Walker was charged with second-degree manslaughter. She faces up to 10 years behind bars and a $20,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, on Dec. 12, Brooklyn Center police responded to a home on a report of an unconscious baby. Emergency crews took the two-month-old boy to the hospital, where he died two days later. The baby had multiple skull fractures and severe brain swelling.
Officers learned the baby had been left in the care of Walker, who suffers from severe arthritis, for a short period of time. On the day of the incident, Walker told police she didn't know how the baby had been injured.
After the baby died, police interviewed Walker again. According to the complaint, this time, Walker explained she had picked up the baby and was heading down the basement stairs when she fell and landed on top of the baby at the bottom of the stairs on the linoleum floor. She told police normally she would not hold a baby while standing due to her severe arthritis. Walker admitted to police she did not try to get help for the baby or call 911. She also didn't tell anyone else in the home or the paramedics what had happened, even after the boy stopped breathing.
Investigators learned about 30 to 45 minutes passed from the time Walker fell on the baby to when he stopped breathing, according to the charges. During that time, Walker told police she checked on the baby to see if he was breathing, which police believe shows she was aware he had likely been hurt.
A child abuse pediatrician told police that if the baby had received care sooner, doctors would have been able to better manage the brain swelling. After consulting with other doctors, the pediatrician reported they had "all seen children with worse head injuries survive with prompt medical treatment."
According to Brooklyn Center police, Walker has been arrested and will be booked at the Hennepin County Jail.