Champlin day care provider charged with assault that left 6-month-old baby in coma

Champlin day care provider charged with assault that left 6-month-old baby in coma

Champlin day care provider charged with assault that left 6-month-old baby in coma

A woman who ran a day care in Champlin is charged with injuring a 6-month-old baby to the extent that he was put in a medically induced coma last week.

Michelle Maree Holte, 58, is facing a first-degree assault charge after the baby’s parents picked him up from Holte’s day care and noticed he could not turn his head straight, had odd movement in his eyes and flexed limbs. The parents brought their baby to the hospital, where it was discovered the baby had a subdural hemorrhage, severe brain injury and retinal hemorrhages.

The baby was reported to be in critical condition and in a medically induced coma as of Thursday. According to court records, some of his skull was removed to relieve brain swelling, and doctors say the injuries will likely have long-term medical consequences.

Minnesota Department of Human Services records show Holte’s license was suspended the following day and remains on temporary suspension.

The criminal complaint states that when the parents picked their baby up from Holte’s day care on Oct. 18, the baby’s eyes were turned to the left and then closed on the way home. When removing the baby from the car seat, they discovered his “eyes were bouncing while still veering left” along with flexed limbs that “did not feel normal.”

When the baby’s mother called Holte to ask what happened, Holte told her that another child at the day care had dropped her baby.

The doctor treating the baby told police Holte’s story didn’t match the severity of the child’s injuries.

Investigators say Holte repeated the claim that another child dropped the baby when they questioned her, leading police to question that child.

During the interview, court records say the child told police that Holte was “rough” with the baby and a doll was used to show what the child witnessed. The child “took the doll to eye level and dropped the doll on the table in front of her,” according to the complaint.

In another interview, Holte then admitted to tossing the baby, saying that she put him down “a little harder than normal.” Holte said she then noticed the baby was not focusing and had slanted eyes. She also recalled feeling “overwhelmed and frustrated” and that she hit “a breaking point, in a bad way” after doing child care for so long.

Court records also include a statement from the baby’s doctor, who said, “The mechanism of injury, of a forceful slamming, reported by the daycare provider, could explain [Victim’s] presentation with subdural hemorrhage, severe brain injury, and retinal hemorrhages. It is notable that he was reported to have been symptomatic immediately afterwards, which is also consistent with a severe traumatic event.”

Her first court appearance in Hennepin County is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Holte faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and up to a $30,000 penalty if convicted.