A 21-year-old Northfield woman received a stayed sentence of 48 months and was placed on probation for 10 years in connection to the death of her 17-month-old son in 2009.
Melissa Louise Ohmann, formerly Hokanson, pleaded to second-degree manslaughter-neglect of a child in March. Her son, Nicholas Arthur Miller, died on June 23, 2009.
As part of her sentence, she agreed to spend one year in jail.
Here is the text of a press release from the Dakota County Attorney’s Office announcing the sentencing:
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Melissa Louise Ohmann (formerly Hokanson), age 21 of Northfield, was sentenced today by Judge Erica MacDonald in connection with the death of her 17-month-old son Nicholas Arthur Miller who died on June 23, 2009.
Ohmann pled guilty on March 9 to Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Neglect of a Child). Ohmann received a stayed prison sentence of 48 months and was placed on probation for 10 years. As a condition of probation Ohmann was ordered to serve one year in jail.
The investigation determined that Melissa Ohmann had failed to seek medical care for her son after he was injured on June 19, 2009, and the failure to do so was a contributing factor to his death. Both the Medical Examiner and a pediatric child abuse expert were of the opinion that Nicholas Miller could have survived the injuries which caused his death if prompt medical care had been sought.
Tylar Hokanson, her former husband and stepfather of Nicholas Miller, was convicted by a Dakota County Jury on Nov. 25, 2010 of Murder in the First Degree (Past Pattern of Child Abuse) and Murder in the Second Degree in connection with the death of Nicholas Miller and sentenced to life in prison.
Backstrom commented: “While Melissa Ohmann did not cause or observe the physical abuse of her son, she should have exercised reasonable care by taking him to an emergency room after his need for medical treatment became apparent. Doing so would likely have prevented his death.”
Backstrom praised the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office for their investigation into this matter.
According to the criminal complaint, paramedics were called to a house in Maiden Rock, WI, on June 23, 2009, on a report of an infant—Nicholas Miller—who wasn't breathing and had bruises on his face. Nicholas died that day at the hospital.
The medical examiner reported that Nicholas sustained multiple injuries in Northfield, here Ohmann and Hokanson lived, between two and four days before his death the complaint says.
A police investigation determined that Hokanson shook Nicholas at least 15 times on June 19, 2009, after which Ohmann allegedly entered the room and took Nicholas.
Ohmann and Hokanson allegedly said they saw Nicholas's health decline over the next few days, according to the complaint; they said last time he showed symptoms like trouble breathing, body odor and discomfort, doctors gave them a nebulizer treatment.
They brought Nicholas to Maiden Rock, where Hokanson's parents lived, and gave him a nebulizer treatment, the complaint says. On June 23, he started turning blue and they attempted CPR before calling emergency personnel.
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