A Braham woman is facing a felony assault charge for causing great bodily harm to an 18-month-old baby.
Alicia Dolores Mohrland, 21, was charged Aug. 14 in Isanti County District Court in Cambridge before Judge John Klossner with felony first-degree assault. Bail was set at $500,000 without conditions or $250,000 with conditions and next court appearance for Aug. 28.
“An 18-month-old child was the victim of an assault,” said Isanti County Attorney Jeff Edblad. “The likelihood of an amended complaint being filed is likely based on the medical information we are receiving.”
Public defender Nathaniel Hyle, who represented Mohrland during the initial hearing, pleaded for lower bail amounts.
“Ms. Mohrland recently moved to Braham from Morrison County approximately one year ago,” Hyle said. “She lives with her boyfriend and works as a homemaker. She has one felony theft conviction from Morrison County from last year. ... Please take into consideration her financial situation.”
Court records show Mohrland received a stay of imposition from Morrison County in March 2018 for a felony theft charge. She was sentenced to 30 days in the Morrison County Jail and five years supervised probation, ending on March 21, 2023.
During the court hearing, Mohrland was ordered by Klossner to have no contact with the victim, as well as two other infant children who were in the home with Mohrland at the time of the alleged assault that took place on Aug. 12. Mohrland was also ordered to have no unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 5.
On Aug. 13, the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis reported the victim was in critical but stable condition, with significant injuries, and was able to maintain with various machines and medications that were connected. He still needed to have a retinal scan to determine any injuries within the eyes and a skeletal survey to determine any other injuries to the skeleton.
According to the criminal complaint:
On Aug. 12, at 12:55 p.m., Braham Police Chief Eric Baumgart was dispatched to a medical call along the 220 block of Beechwood Avenue South in the city of Braham on a report of an 18-month-old child having difficulty breathing.
As Baumgart entered the residence, he observed Mohrland holding the victim in her left arm, she was crying and he appeared to be limp in her arms. They entered the living room and Baumgart heard the victim cry and observed movement. Mohrland laid the child on the couch and Baumgart observed the child was breathing.
When Mohrland was asked what happened, she stated he wasn’t eating and throwing a temper tantrum, and she was going to put him in time out, so she tossed him in the playpen and thought he may have hit his head on the door. As Mohrland was explaining, she made an underarm throwing gesture. When Baumgart asked her to explain how far she tossed the infant, she walked toward the playpen, stopped at the door entrance, roughly 8 feet from the playpen, and a tossing motion. She then returned to the couch and stated, “I hurt my baby,” before explaining the child had experienced previous abuse from his biological parents.
As Baumgart was speaking with Mohrland, she stated, “I didn’t mean for it to happen.” Baumgart asked her again to explain how far it was she tossed the child. She confirmed it was approximately 6 to 7 feet when asked again by Baumgart.
Braham Police Officer Jesse Zajac arrived, and Baumgart explained to him that Mohrland had thrown the child into the playpen and thought the child had struck his head on the door.
Mohrland said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do it.” Zajac noticed Mohrland appeared to be distraught and crying. Zajac observed another infant on the floor and another infant in a bassinet.
Zajac went to the victim, who was lying on the couch, and observed signs of life and, by the stimuli of rubbing the infant’s feet, observed the infant flicker his eyelids and move his left arm. Zajac found a pulse and observed the infant was mainly stomach breathing in an irregular fashion. Zajac provided supplemental oxygen to the infant, as well as providing physical stimuli so the infant would keep his eyes open.
When asked for verification, Mohrland said she was frustrated with the temper tantrum the victim was having and she threw him from the door of the nursery into the playpen. When asked if she thought he may have struck his head on anything, she said she believed so and it could possibly be the door handle to the closet, which was right next to the playpen, or on the playpen’s crossbar.
When Mohrland was asked if she observed the child shaking, as if from a seizure, following the event, she said yes.
Zajac and Baumgart observed Mohrland sitting on the couch with one of the other babies and was distraught and repeated multiple times she was a good mom and did not mean for this to happen.
Allina EMS arrived and took the victim by ambulance to Cambridge Medical Center, and from there he was flown to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
The victim was admitted to the Children’s and it was reported he was suffering from severe head trauma and was listed in critical condition.
Braham Police Department Detective Kevin Stahl arrived on scene and obtained search warrants for the residence. He learned from Baumgart, who had received information from Children’s Hospital, that the victim may be brain dead.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was then called to assist with Special Agent Douglas Henning responding. Henning responded to the scene and determined the case would benefit from having the BCA forensic team come to process the scene. A second agent was requested to go to Children’s Hospital to get firsthand information about the victim. The agent recovered the victim’s clothes, took photos of the injuries and was briefed as to the prognosis. Henning learned the victim underwent a surgical procedure and was expected to live through the night; however, medical staff was concerned the victim may be brain dead or may die when taken off medications and life support.
The BCA forensic team arrived on scene and processed the scene.
Mohrland was transported to the Isanti County Jail in Cambridge.