Baby-smothering mom will serve most of 10 year sentence

Brenna Winter, a 19-year-old St. Cloud mother accused of smothering her daughter twice at Nemours Children’s Hospital, pleaded no contest in November to attempted-first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

Winter was in court Tuesday for her sentencing on charges but left the court house not knowing her sentence because the Judge relying on an obscure statute, ordered a prison term of minimum of six months in prison up to a maximum of 10 years. The exact time will be determined by the DOC and the agency said she won’t be getting out for about eight years, at least.

The Prosecutor asked for a sentence of at least 20 years, while the Assistant Public Defender asked for probation or house arrest, citing Winter’s youth, mental health and history of depression.

She was given credit for almost six months already served in county jail. The sentence suggested her release could be imminent, though Judge Murphy told Winter he intended to recommend she remain in prison for at least three years.

The judge barred her from having any unsupervised contact with her children, including her daughter and any future children she may have. He also ordered her to serve 20 years of probation and obtain a high-school diploma or GED within two years of her release.

Winter will be evaluated upon arriving at prison to determine her eligibility for “gain time,” but any such time earned for good behavior will be capped at 15 percent of her 10-year term.

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