Sep 25, 2020

Paynesville Woman Charged With 2nd Degree Murder of Daughter

By Nathan Daggett / Assistant News Director

The Stearns County prosecutors formally charged Elise Nelson in 7th District Judicial Court Thursday in the death of her daughter.

The Stearns County Attorney’s Office says 35-year-old Nelson of Paynesville is charged with one count of intentional murder in the second degree in her daughter’s death earlier this summer. She is also charged with second degree manslaughter by committing or attempting to commit child neglect or endangerment. 

The prosecutor’s complaint says Nelson tampered with her daughter’s medical equipment and deprived the child of care. The child was pronounced dead on June 21 at the Paynesville Hospital. The child need 24-hour care since birth due to cerebral palsy and other significant health issues.

The complaint says while Nelson’s ex-husband, who she shared custody of the child with, was on a fishing trip when she manually silenced alarms and adjusted on the child’s pulse oximeter machine over the course of three days. Experts at the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office and nurses consulted by the attorney’s office believe Nelson’s actions lead to the death.

Nelson has bail set at $500,000 unconditional or $350,000 with conditions. 

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