Woman faces charges in death

Woman faces charges in death

A 35-year-old central Minnesota woman is charged with murder in September after allegedly silencing the alarm on an oxygen-monitoring device. Charges allege she allowed her child, who had significant disabilities, to die. 

Elise C. Nelson, of Paynesville, was charged in Stearns County District Court with second-degree intentional murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with the child’s death in June. 

The child, 13-year-old Kylie Larson, had medical problems including chronic respiratory failure and severe developmental delay from a loss of oxygen at birth, according to the criminal complaint. Autopsy results from the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, while attributing the death to complications during birth, also said Nelson “deprived care resulting in death,” the charges read. 

Larson’s parents sued in 2008 on their daughter’s behalf alleging medical malpractice by Affiliated Community Medical Centers and Rice Memorial Hospital at the time of her birth. The family was awarded $23.2 million by a jury. The hospital and family later reached a settlement, the terms of which remain confidential. 

However, the defendants filed motions with then- Kandiyohi District Judge Donald Spilseth in opposition to that amount. The judge ordered both sides to mediation, and a settlement was reached. David Alsop, attorney for the defendants, said Thursday he could not disclose the terms of the settlement, which remains sealed eight years later. 

The criminal complaint states that Nelson was alone with her daughter in June. She repeatedly silenced a medical device twice and later turned it off, so there was nothing to monitor the child’s oxygen saturation levels or pulse rates. Nelson eventually called 911 and her child was declared at a hospital. 

(Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune)