Barnesville woman charged with murder of foster child pleads guilty

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 9:46 AM CDT
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BARNESVILLE, Minn. (Valley News Live) - The foster mom accused of killing her toddler son has pleaded guilty.

35-year-old Kellie Jo Anderson is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 18-month-old Henry, who had been in her care since April 2019. Her plea comes one week before she was slated to go to trial.

Court documents say Henry was brought to the Sanford Emergency room ‘blue’ and lifeless, with bruising to the head and face on April 23, 2020.

Anderson told officers she and her husband were set to adopt the child later that summer.

Documents say she told police that the child ‘self-injures’ himself and said that Henry threw himself around and wouldn’t feel pain. She stated she gave the child a bath around noon that day, stating the injuries on his mouth were self-inflicted. Anderson also said the child ‘threw himself several times from the bath to the toilet.’ Anderson said she also believed the child may have seized in the bathtub or shortly after.

Documents say officers then interviewed Anderson’s husband who said when he last saw the child the night before, Henry had no injuries.

Anderson’s husband stated the child does not usually throw himself around and has never had a seizure before.

Officers noted a cut on the inside of Henry’s lip, numerous bruises on his back and side, a small bump on the child’s head, and multiple marks and bruising on the toddler’s face. Henry also had a laceration and injury to his genitals.

A preliminary autopsy stated the child likely died from asphyxia associated with blunt force trauma.

If convicted, Anderson could spend up to 40 years in prison.

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