MINNEAPOLIS - A St. Bonifacius woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to second degree murder in the 2012 death of her toddler.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office says Shacara Foster, 28, of St. Bonifacius will be sentenced on Oct. 8, and is expected to receive more than seven years in prison.
According to officials, this wraps up the case because Foster's boyfriend Kentae Todd, 22, of Coon Rapids, pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the toddler's death at an earlier hearing.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says, "This young boy simply didn't deserve to die. Ms. Foster and Mr. Todd have received considerable punishment for their role in taking this youngster's life."
According to authorities, Minnetrista police were called to a home in St. Bonifacius on the night of February 10 and found a 18-month-old boy who was not breathing. He was rushed to a hospital in Waconia where he was declared dead.
Autopsy results showed the boy died from an infection that was caused by a severe burn to his hand but doctors also found fractures to the toddler's skull, wrist, ribs, arm and leg. He also had hemorrhaging to the brain, internal bleeding, numerous cuts, bruises and at least one cigarette burn.
Interviews with witnesses characterized Foster as a woman who would leave her son and a baby daughter with "just anyone" to get away from them. The couple was living in squalor in the St. Bonifacius home with the two children and 13 other people, surrounded by rotting garbage, dead animals, feces, and otherwise filthy conditions.
Dr. Lindsey Thomas of the Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner's office concluded that the cause of the child's death was complications from neglect, and that the manner of his death was homicide.
In her plea, Foster admitted she had left her son with an inadequate caregiver, and that when she returned home she knew her son had been burned but did not check on him until hours later.