Lakeville woman charged in infant grandson's deathby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A Dakota County grand jury has indicted a 45-year-old Lakeville woman with two felony counts of manslaughter for the death of her infant grandson.
According to an investigation, 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 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 was taking 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.
"This was a tragic death which could have been avoided," Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a statement.
Miller-Steiner made her first court appearance this morning where Judge Tim Wermager set bail at $200,000 without conditions, and $20,000 with conditions.
Her next court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 25.
If convicted, Miller-Steiner faces up to 10 years in prison or a $20,000 fine, or both.