“You’re a monster.”: Barnesville woman sentenced for murdering foster child
MOORHEAD, M.N. (Valley News Live) - The foster mom who killed her toddler son has been sentenced to spend the next 35 years in prison.
36-year-old Kellie Jo Anderson is now convicted of second-degree murder in the death of 18-month-old Henry, who had been in her care since April 2019. Anderson told officers she and her husband were set to adopt the child later in the summer of 2020.
“This case can only be described as heinous,” Clay County Judge Jade Rosenfeldt said.
Anderson must serve at least 23 years of her sentence before she is considered for supervised probation. She will get credit for the 417 days she’s already served in the Clay County Jail.
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.
“Our hearts ache. Day after day they ache,” a family member of the victim testified in court Friday afternoon. “Henry will be forever missed. He will never be forgotten. There’s nothing about him to forget.”
“You’re a monster! I hate you so much,” another family member testified Friday afternoon.
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 also told police that Henry does not usually throw himself around and has never had a seizure before.
“It should have never happened. I think Kellie needs to have a long sentence because no one should do that to a baby,” one of Henry’s great grandmothers wrote in a statement that was read in court Friday afternoon.
“I believe this is the ultimate sin and the ultimate crime,” Henry’s uncle said to Anderson in court. “I hope you will never hold a baby or child in your arms again.”
“Imagine Henry’s pain when his caretaker, his foster mom, his protector and a nurse brutally and viciously murdered him,” Henry’s cousin said in a video recording to the court.
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.
“When we talk about justice for Henry, that’s hard to do. What this family wants is their child back and we can’t do that,” Clay County Attorney Pam Foss said.
Foss stated Anderson’s previous comments blaming drug use for what unfolded in April 2020 would have quickly been found untrue if the case would have gone to trial.
“The biggest disappointment in my life is hurting someone I loved,” Anderson testified to the court Friday afternoon. “I’m very sorry. There is nothing I can say that will help.”
While Anderson pleaded guilty earlier last month, the state asked a Clay County Judge to consider aggravated factors in the case to give Anderson a longer prison sentence. Foss stated due to Henry’s vulnerable age, the overall cruelty of the assault, Anderson’s role as an authority/trusted figure to Henry, as well as the fact the offense happened in a zone of privacy warranted Anderson to spend 35 years in prison.
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