The Minnesota Supreme Court announced Wednesday it has upheld the murder conviction of Tylar James Hokanson of Northfield.
Hokanson, 26, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder in connection to the death of his 17-month-old stepson in 2009.
He was sentenced to life in prison, but is eligible for parole in 30 years.
In an opinion released Wednesday, the court says it upheld the conviction on six points, including that the Dakota County Attorney’s Office presented sufficient evidence, the jury’s instructions were fair and accurate and Hokanson was not denied effective counsel.
According to the Pioneer Press, Hokanson’s counsel claimed other family members could have inflicted the injuries that led to Nicholas Miller’s death.
Hokanson’s charges stemmed from the June 23, 2009 death of Miller. Four days earlier, Hokanson shook the child so severely that it broke his back and caused bleeding of his brain, causing Miller's death, according to an autopsy report.
Hokanson was convicted following a two-week trial in November 2010. The jury deliberated for about 31 hours before handing down a verdict.
Miller’s mother, Melissa Louise Ohmann, formerly Hokanson, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter-neglect of a child this past March. In September, she received a stayed 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.
Click here to read the Supreme Court opinion.
To read more about this case, click on the following headlines:
• Northfield's Hokanson Gets Life in Prison
• Mother Charged With Manslaughter In Death of 17-Month-Old Son
• Northfield Woman Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in Death of 17-Month-Old Son
• Northfield Woman Sentenced in Death of 17-Month-Old Son