Former child care provider sentenced for manslaughter count

A 46-year-old former Farmington home child care provider was sentenced Tuesday, April 15, to 30 days in jail, 80 hours of community service and a $500 fine in connection with the July 31, 2012, death of an infant in her care.

Rebecca Lynn Graupmann pleaded guilty on Feb. 14 to second-degree manslaughter (involving endangerment of a child) after she was charged with four other counts following the death of Kaiden Robert Staebell, 3 months, while he was in her care.

The home facility, which was licensed to care for 12 children, was shut down following the death after her child care license was suspended.

An autopsy ruled Staebell’s death was accidental by “probable positional asphyxiation,” according to the complaint.

Graupmann allegedly told police initially that Staebell fell asleep in a car seat, but a detective noticed a wet spot with what appeared to be blood in another bed in the house.

When confronted with what the detective found, Graupmann told police she had put Staebell in her daughter’s adult bed for a nap on top of a comforter. She said later she saw the child on his side in the bed and left him in that position.

Staebell’s parents’ verbal and written instructions were to always lay him on his back, the complaint said. Graupmann also referenced a crib that she should have put together for Staebell’s nap times.

Graupmann said she found the child “cold to the touch, his lips were blue, and he had blood around his nose when she picked him up.”

She told police she “should not have laid him in the bed” multiple times.

Charges dismissed at sentencing were felony second-degree manslaughter (involving neglect of a child) and gross misdemeanors endangerment of a child, neglect of a child and interference with a death scene. She was originally charged May 22, 2013.

“Our deepest sympathy is extended to the family of Kaiden Staebell for their great loss,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a press release.

He praised Assistant County Attorney Elizabeth Swank who prosecuted the case and thanked the Farmington Police Department for their thorough investigation.

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