Brooklyn Center Woman to Receive New Sentence After Killing Baby in 2019
A Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling Monday found the sentence given to 42-year-old Jennifer Baldwin for killing a child she was babysitting was too harsh for the crime.
She was convicted of two counts of unintentional second-degree murder for the death of an infant in 2018 and sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Baldwin had been babysitting nine-month-old Colton Senogles when she called his mother, stating that his eyes were rolling in the back of his head and he would not stop crying. Seven minutes later, she called 911 and asked for an ambulance.
Five days later, he died in the hospital.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office found the cause of his death to be blunt-force trauma. They also ruled his death a homicide.
Baldwin admitted to handling Senogles aggressively before his death.
She pleaded not guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in court. She was found guilty on both counts.
In Sentencing Baldwin, District Court ‘Abused’ Discretion, Says Court of Appeals
The presumptive sentence laid out in the state’s sentencing guidelines called for a 12 1/2 year prison sentence. The 21-year sentence handed down by the judge was a significant upward departure from those guidelines.
The court justified the upward departure in part by arguing that Baldwin had abused her position as caregiver and she failed to call 911 immediately after assaulting Senogles.
“The district court abused its discretion by imposing an upward durational departure to her sentence because (1) the jury did not find that appellant abused her position as a caregiver and (2) the brief delay in calling 911 did not amount to particular cruelty. We agree,” wrote the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
That is, the court found that, while Baldwin’s conduct was “‘reprehensible and regrettable,’ was not ‘atypical’ of the offense charged.”
Likewise, the Minnesota Court of Appeals found that Baldwin’s delay in calling 911 did not amount to “particular cruelty.”
Hennepin County Courts will resentence Baldwin at a later date.