Appeals court says Brooklyn Center babysitter convicted of killing infant should’ve gotten lighter sentence
A Brooklyn Center woman who was convicted of killing an infant she was babysitting in 2018 may have her prison sentence reduced.
Jennifer Lynn Baldwin, 42, was convicted of second-degree murder in July 2019 for the death of 9-month-old Colton Senogles.
Prosecutors say Baldwin called the child’s mother on the morning of March 15, 2018, saying his eyes were rolling back in his head and he wouldn’t stop crying. Baldwin called 911 10 minutes later and found Senogles struggling to breathe. He died at a hospital five days later.
After being confronted with injuries uncovered by an autopsy, Baldwin admitted to handling the child aggressively, court documents state, and she was sentenced to over 21 years (255 months) in jail because the judge determined the child’s vulnerability due to his age warranted a higher-than-normal sentence. The Minnesota Court of Appeals later overturned that, saying the charge already factored in the child’s age, but the judge then gave Baldwin the same sentence, citing the fact that she was the child’s caregiver and waited 10 minutes to call 911.
Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals determined that wasn’t justification for a longer-than-normal sentence because the jury didn’t conclude that Baldwin abused her position of authority and her brief delay in calling 911 didn’t constitute “particular cruelty.”
In making that determination, the appellate court sent Baldwin’s case back to Hennepin County court for a presumptive sentence.
The court notes that Baldwin’s presumptive sentence range is between 10 and 15 years, with the actual presumptive sentence being 12.5 years (150 months).
A presumptive sentence would move Baldwin’s expected release date up from August 2033 to late 2027.
A date for her resentencing hasn’t yet been set.