Death of Child in Rochester Results in Murder Charges Against Mother
Mankato, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Mankato woman accused of killing her young son was brought back to court this morning to be formally arraigned on new charges.
The Blue Earth County Attorney’s Office has amended the criminal complaint against 27-year-old Chelsea Olinger to include one count each of second and third-degree murder along with a felony charge of malicious punishment of a child. The new charges reflect the death of her 16-month-old child from multiple severe injuries
She was previously charged with first-degree assault following her arrest in Rochester on February 13th. Olinger was taken into custody after the child was brought to St. Marys Hospital several days earlier and was placed on life support with no sign of brain activity and eventually died. The charges state that the death was due to multiple blunt force trauma injuries.
Olinger claimed the toddler was hurt in a fall down some stairs. She later said the child’s head may have struck the side of a crib. She also told an investigator she was frustrated because of the child’s crying and “covered the child’s mouth with her hand to silence” the child. A Mayo Clinic doctor told investigators the injuries were not consistent with a fall down some stairs but “were consistent with non-accidental trauma.”
Conditional bail for Olinger was continued at $500,000. She is due back in court for an evidentiary hearing on March 17th.