A St. Paul woman who smashed her way into a stranger’s home while drunk and then crawled into bed with a sleeping child was sentenced Friday to 60 days in the Ramsey County workhouse and two years of probation.
Shannon Kiesner, 26, pleaded guilty in June in Ramsey County District Court to first-degree damage to property. She will have to serve 18 days in the workhouse before becoming eligible for home monitoring, and could face an additional 304 days in the workhouse if she violates her probation.
The felony-level count was dropped to a gross misdemeanor, an action which Judge Joy Bartscher said she was reluctant to take.
“Your behavior is — it’s horrible,” Bartscher said. “If you come back for any violations, you’re going to go to prison for a long time.”
The judge told Kiesner that she was giving her a chance because she had expressed remorse for the April 8 incident.
According to the criminal complaint and victim impact statements read in court Friday:
Kiesner smashed a window and broke into the St. Paul house as the homeowner ran into a bathroom with her 15-month-old son. Kiesner then climbed into bed with the homeowner’s sleeping 9-year-old daughter, who woke up terrified. Kiesner screamed as she used a lamp to smash items in the room.
Police eventually arrived, guns drawn, to arrest Kiesner, whose blood was smeared throughout the home. Kiesner told police that she had been drinking and must have blacked out.
Certified student attorney Jessica Plotz, representing the Ramsey County attorney’s office, read a victim impact statement from the homeowner, whose husband was at work during the incident.
The woman described the night as “sheer terror,” and said that Kiesner didn’t exhibit obvious signs of intoxication.
She said that she hid in her bathroom clutching her youngest child, despairing about the safety of her 2-year-old son and her daughter, who were asleep in separate rooms. “I’ll never forget how helpless and powerless I felt in that moment,” she said, according to her statement. “I failed [my daughter] that night.”
The woman said her daughter can no longer sleep alone, and that her son insists on sleeping with the lights on. Her husband, she said, worries about his family because he works nights. He turned down a better paying job because it was farther from home.
“I know that we are a strong and resilient family,” her statement ended.
Plotz also read a victim impact statement from the 9-year-old girl. “Now, when we come home, if the shower curtain is closed, I think someone is in there,” the girl said.
Given an opportunity to address the court, Kiesner said she had been seeking treatment for her alcoholism. “All I can say is, I’m completely devastated,” Kiesner said. “I’d like to be a mother some day, and the fact that I hurt a child and a family is very difficult to live with.”
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708