ST. PETER, Minn. - A Nicollet County couple offered guilty pleas Monday in connection with the alleged starving of a child they adopted.
County Attorney Michelle Zehnder says Mona Hauer entered an Alford plea to one count of felony neglect of a child, and her husband Russell Hauer entered an Alford plea to one gross misdemeanor count of neglect of a child.
An Alford plea means the Hauers maintain they are innocent of the charges but agree that a jury could find them guilty based on evidence.
Sentencing for the couple will be November 26 in front of Nicollet County Judge Allison Krehbiel.
The Hauer's adopted son was 8 years old and weighed less than 35 pounds when his mother brought him to a hospital last October because she thought he had vomited blood.
Authorities said he was 3 feet, 5 inches tall, and about the weight of an average 4-year-old.
Earlier this year Nicollet County District Judge Todd Westphal terminated the couple's parental rights to the boy, but decided not to terminate their rights to their other three children.
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