A 31-year-old South St. Paul woman has been charged with two counts of manslaughter for neglect and endangerment of her infant daughter after accidentally smothering the girl while sleeping net to her.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Dakota County District Court, Jessica Lee Grass tested positive for meth, Xanax and alcohol when her 5-month-old daughter, Vaida Rose Grass, died.
According to the criminal complaint:
On June 17, 2015 Grass initially told police she placed the baby on the bed, laid down for 20 minutes, then left the baby. When Grass returned, she said the baby was pale, her mouth was turning blue and her body was cold. Grass then told police that she had fallen asleep next to her daughter and may have “rolled” onto the baby.
According to witnesses, Grass was “spazzing” the day before because the baby wouldn’t stop crying. They also said she hide her meth pipe in her bra when she called police.
She later admitted to authorities that she had alcohol the night before, and used meth and Xanax the day her daughter died.
The Hennepin County medical examiner’s office determined the baby died from positional asphyxia and a pillow was obstructing her airways.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a statement that this case is “another tragic example of extreme danger of co-sleeping.”
“The danger of which is even more extreme when the co-sleeping adult is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.” he said.
Dakota County District Judge Erica H. MacDonald Grass set bail at $75,000. Grass’ next court date is May 10.