A Lakeville woman who was intoxicated when she rolled on top of her infant grandson pled guilty to second-degree manslaughter on Monday.
On May 9, Tina Louise Miller-Steiner put her grandson, Evan Michael Berney, to sleep on an adult bed and later fell asleep next him.
A few hours later, Miller-Steiner's youngest daughter woke her up, and the two noticed Evan was not breathing, authorities said.
Miller-Steiner, 45, told police she thought she was lying over the baby when she woke up. She called 911 and tried following a dispatcher's instructions to resuscitate the boy.
Paramedics and police officers continued to try to resuscitate the boy as he was transported to Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville, where he was later pronounced dead, according to the Dakota County Attorney's office.
Miller-Steiner had taken three prescription medications that day, according to authorities.
She told police her doctor had advised her not to drink alcohol while on the medication. She also told police she had had a partial glass of wine and two martinis a few hours before lying down with her grandson.
An analysis determined that Miller-Steiner's blood alcohol level four hours after the 911 call was still above the legal limit for driving a car. Laboratory analysis also determined she had a therapeutic dosage of Prozac in her system.
Judge Tim Wermager issued a reduced sentence Monday, after the child's parents asked the judge not to send Miller-Steiner to prison.
Instead, the judge sentenced Miller-Steiner to 10 years probation and 45 days in the Dakota County Jail. Wermager also said the defendant will not be allowed to care for children under the age of ten without supervision.
Miller-Steiner agreed to pay restitution to the child's parents for funeral expenses.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said he agrees with the sentencing decision.
"Clearly, it's a tragedy and clearly, it's a crime," he said. "But in a situation like this, there's not much more punishment that our system of justice can meet out than this woman has already inflicted upon herself."
Backstrom said Miller-Steiner recently completed a 28-day chemical dependency treatment program and will continue to undergo drug and alcohol testing while on probation.
"We dealt with it, and we're pleased that we've been able to resolve it," Backstrom said. "It was a difficult case, but I think it's a just result."