Mower County woman pleads guilty in death of own child

(ABC 6 News) – A Glenville woman pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge on Wednesday in the death of her own child.

Jocelyn Leslie Pater, 26, pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree manslaughter. As part of the plea deal, charges of child endangerment, 5th-degree drug possession and causing or permitting a child to be exposed to methamphetamines will likely be dismissed.

According to court documents, on December 13, 2021, Austin police officers were called to 402 27th Street SW for a report of a 2-month-old infant not breathing and its nose bleeding.

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Court documents state that Pater told police that she fell asleep on the couch with the child and was later awoken by her friend who was hysterical and who had pulled the child away, and took it to a neighbor’s residence and called 911. The woman also attempted mouth-to-mouth until police arrived. The child was later flown by Mayo One to Mayo Clinic in Rochester where the child died four days later.

The medical examiner’s autopsy report said the infant died due to overlay while co-sleeping with an adult. On Dec. 14, an MRI showed diffuse anoxic brain injury and a follow-up CT scan on Dec. 16 also showed diffuse anoxic brain injury as well as injuries to the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and midbrain.

Law enforcement claims that Pater’s alleged use of methamphetamine caused her to smother the infant, and prevented her from awakening before causing injury that allegedly led to its death.

On Dec. 14, 2021, detectives learned from hospital staff that the child also presumptively tested positive for narcotics.

Pater is scheduled to be sentenced on October 25.