Plea Deal For Minnesota Infant’s Death 14 Years Ago
Anoka, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Twin Cities man has entered a guilty plea to a second-degree murder charge for the death of his infant daughter 14 years ago.
Court records show 38-year-old Benjamin Russell of Anoka admitted to a second-degree murder charge through a plea agreement that will result in the dismissal of a first-degree manslaughter charge. The plea deal calls for an 11-1/2 year prison sentence.
The criminal charges were filed against Russell last July after Anoka County investigators received information indicating that he had confessed to killing the baby, who died in January 2019. According to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, the child died after deputies were sent to her home in Coon Rapids in response to a 911 call from Russell, who reported that his daughter had stopped breathing.
At the time, Russell told investigators that he had put the infant down for a nap and when he went back to check on her about an hour later, it appeared she had rolled over onto her stomach and was face down on a blanket he had used to prop up her bottle. That autopsy ruled that her death was caused by positional asphyxia based partially on the statement given to investigators by Russell.
According to the criminal complaint, the baby's mother contacted investigators last July and indicated that Russell had visited her and confessed to killing the infant. She told investigators Russell had said he became upset when the child would not stop crying and that he placed a pillow over her face and held it for a period of time before he left the room with the pillow still covering the baby's face.
His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for July 31st.