A South St. Paul woman was sentenced Friday to jail and 10 years of probation in connection with the death of her 5-month-old daughter.
Jessica Lee Grass, 32, was sentenced in Dakota County District Court to 90 days in jail and 10 years of probation after she was charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter related to her baby’s death on June 17, 2015.
Grass told police she fell asleep next to her daughter and must have rolled onto her or that her arm may have been on top of the baby. She admitted to police that she had used methamphetamine and Xanax, along with drinking alcohol, the day before. A forensic analysis of her blood showed that she had controlled substances in her system at the time of her baby’s death.
An autopsy showed the girl died from “positional asphyxia,” and noted that the child was found on an adult bed with a U-shaped pillow obstructing her airways.
“Co-sleeping with an infant is extremely dangerous and that danger is significantly increased if alcohol and/or drug use is involved,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a released statement.
Grass initially told police she had placed her daughter on the bed and lay down with the infant for about 20 minutes before leaving the child in the bed. According to the criminal complaint, she later admitted lying to police about what happened and explained that she fell asleep next to the infant.
In an interview with police, she admitted telling two friends that she suspected she killed her baby when she lay on her.