South St. Paul mom gets 90 days in jail for infant daughter's death

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A 32-year-old South St. Paul mom will serve 90 days in jail and be on probation for 10 years in the death of her 5-month-old daughter. 

Jessica Lee Grass was sentenced Friday in the death of her infant daughter from an incident that occurred on June 17, 2015. 

Grass was charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter on April 27. 

According to the charges, police were called to a Grass' residence on last summer where they found a deceased baby on top of a bed, near a pillow. In interviews with Grass, she initially said she was laying in the bed with the child but left after about 20 minutes. She then changed her story and admitted to police she had fallen asleep next to her daughter and that she may have rolled onto the infant in her sleep. 

Grass also admitted to using methamphetamine and Xanax earlier that day, along with drinking alcohol. 

“Co-sleeping with an infant is extremely dangerous and that danger is significantly increased if alcohol and/or drug use is involved," said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom, after the sentencing. 

A forensic analysis of a blood sample taken from Grass that day showed the controlled substances were still in her system at the time of the child's death. 

An autopsy identified the girl's cause of death as positional asphyxia. 


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