A Brooklyn Center woman has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder without intent in connection with the death of an infant boy whom she allegedly handled in a rough and aggressive manner while he was in her care.
Jennifer Lynn Baldwin, 37, was charged Monday with the felonies in Hennepin County District Court after the Hennepin County medical examiner ruled 9-month-old Colton Logan Senogles' death on March 20 a homicide caused by a blunt force head injury.
According to the charges, the boy arrived at Baldwin's home for babysitting on the morning of March 15 and was able to sit, play with toys, hold his own bottle and interact with other children. About an hour after he arrived, Baldwin called his mother and told her to come get him because "something's not right."
Baldwin called 911 and when police arrived at the home on the 6400 block of Fremont Ave N., they found the boy "lethargic and laboring to breathe," the charges said. First responders rushed the boy to a hospital, where he was treated for brain injury that included bleeding and swelling.
Senogles, who lived in Blaine, died five days later, and the medical examiner's report indicated he suffered brain damage due to blunt force trauma and blood and oxygen depravation. He also had contusions on the left scalp and right ear and retinal hemorrhages in both eyes, the medical examiner's report said.
Baldwin first told authorities that the boy had taken her son's bottle, so she made him a new one. She said the boy drank from it, according to the charges, then fell asleep for about 30 minutes. When he woke up, he was fussy and needed a dry outfit. When Baldwin laid him down to change him, she said the boy's eyes rolled back and he "looked like he was in a different world."
Authorities questioned Baldwin again and brought the autopsy results and a report from a child abuse specialist. When confronted with the medical evidence, the charges say Baldwin admitted that she had handled the boy "roughly" and "aggressively" and saw a change in the boy's behavior immediately afterward.
Baldwin told authorities that she didn't get much sleep the previous night and that she had not taken medication for anxiety or mood disorders. She also had just regained custody of her children from child protection and was experiencing financial problems, the complaint said.
Baldwin was arrested Monday and is in police custody, said Brooklyn Center Police Cmdr. Richard Gabler.