Minnesota Mother Who Got High And Slept on Newborn Baby, Suffocating Him to Death Avoids Jail

Jocelyn Leslie Pater
Jocelyn Leslie Pater Twitter

A Glenville woman had a 57-month prison sentence stayed for five years for her role in the 2021 death of her 2-month-old son.

Jocelyn Leslie Pater, 26, appeared in Mower County District Court on Wednesday, Oct. 25, before Judge Kevin Siefken. Siefken ordered Pater to complete outpatient treatment, and cognitive skills training and barred her from using or possessing alcohol and controlled substances, as reported by the Post-Bulletin.

Pater pleaded guilty to felony second-degree manslaughter as part of a plea deal that dismissed three other felony charges related to drug possession and child endangerment. The plea deal called for no additional jail time.

According to the criminal complaint, Law enforcement were called to an Austin residence around 6:21 p.m. Dec. 13, 2021, on a report of an infant not breathing and with his nose bleeding.

An Austin police officer arrived to find a 2-month-old boy lying on the floor in the middle of the living room. After not finding a pulse, the officer began CPR until Mayo Ambulance arrived to transport the infant to Austin Medical Center, where staff was able to find a pulse and had the child flown to Mayo Clinic Hospital — Saint Marys.

Pater was "hysterical and crying" when she told law enforcement that she had been asleep on the couch with the child when she was woken by a friend who pulled the child away from Pater. The friend took the infant to another apartment before calling 911.

The friend told law enforcement she saw the child's face in Pater's chest area, and the child's face was purple and blue. The friend attempted to give the infant mouth-to-mouth until first responders arrived. Witnesses mentioned possible drug use by Pater to law enforcement.

Drug paraphernalia along with a small amount of methamphetamine were found in the residence by officers following a search warrant. A bottle nipple for feeding an infant that was found near the narcotics tested positive for methamphetamine.

After first denying drug use, Pater told law enforcement during questioning on Dec. 14, 2021, that she used drugs daily. Medical personnel told authorities earlier that day that the now intubated infant had no signs of brain activity and presumptively tested positive for narcotics.

Pater agreed to submit to a urine analysis. It tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine. The infant died three days after the incident, at 2:06 p.m. Dec. 17, 2021. A medical examiner determined that the child died from "asphyxia due to overlay while co-sleeping with an adult."

Multiple brain scans found injuries consistent with lack of oxygen to the brain. A toxicology test returned positive for methamphetamine "but it is unclear if the presence of methamphetamine had any contribution to the cause of death."