Woman accused of abandoning newborn pleads guilty to murder

A Red Wing woman accused of abandoning two newborns two decades ago has pleaded guilty to murder.

Wednesday, 50-year-old Jennifer Lynn Matter entered a petition to plead guilty to second-degree murder. She was charged with two counts of second-degree murder last year in connection to the death of her newborn, who was found dead at a lake in 2003.

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Under the terms of the plea deal, in exchange for Matter’s guilty plea, prosecutors intend to dismiss the second murder charge against her and will withdraw their motion to seek an aggravated sentence against her. Additionally, Matter’s sentence would be capped at 326 months, which is just over 27 years.

Court documents state that Matter admitted to hiding her pregnancy in 2003, then left her newborn infant on the shore of Lake Pepin in Frontenac on the night of Dec. 6. She said she didn’t tell anyone about it because she was trying to lay low due to a pending arrest warrant.

The child was found dead the following day.

Charging documents also note that a newborn girl who was found dead at a marina along the Mississippi River near Red Wing in 1999 was determined to have also been Matter’s child. However, she’s not charged in that child’s death.

Matter’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 28.