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Minneapolis mother sentenced in tub death of 2-year-old daughter

  • Star Tribune
  • December 21, 2012 - 9:37 PM

A 23-year-old Minneapolis woman was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for drowning her toddler in her apartment bathtub while drunk, according to a Friday announcement by the Hennepin County attorney's office.

In November, Deqa Mohamed Yusuf pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of her 2-year-old daughter.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called to Yusuf's northeast Minneapolis apartment just before midnight on May 31. Yusuf screamed that her daughter was dead and indicated the bathtub, which was nearly full with water. She said that she had left her daughter to retrieve something from another room.

Yusuf was clearly drunk. When tested at the hospital later that night, Yusuf's blood alcohol concentration level was more than 0.2 percent.

Her daughter was pronounced dead June 17.

Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Cheri Townsend asked that Yusuf serve more time, arguing that she had not taken full responsibility for her daughter's death, instead referring to it as an accident. There had been multiple efforts through child protection and by loved ones to help Yusuf overcome her alcoholism and improve her parenting, Townsend said.

However, Hennepin County District Judge Marilyn Kaman deemed the 128-month imprisonment a sufficient sentence. Yusuf "will be living with it the rest of her life," Kaman said.

Speaking in front of the judge, Yusuf said she missed her daughter. "I will never get to see her, no matter how much time I do," Yusuf said. "If I got my alcohol straight, I wouldn't be here today."

NICOLE NORFLEET

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