A Brooklyn Park woman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after the death of a foster child in the care of her and her husband, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Sherrie Dirk, 34, pleaded guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, and she will be sentenced Dec. 3. She is expected to sentenced to between 25-35 years in prison.
During her guilty plea, which she submitted Oct. 4, Dirk admitted to some aspects of her crime, as well as three aggravating factors, which allowed the judge to set a higher sentence than the sentencing guidelines would normally require.
On Nov. 6, 2017, at approximately 6:30 p.m., Brooklyn Park police officers were dispatched to the Dirk’s home on the 3600 block of 82nd Avenue North on a report that their 3-year-old foster child was not breathing. Dirk had wrapped the child with three sheets, immobilizing her and then left her in a room with the door closed.
No one checked on the child for approximately four hours. Dirk’s husband, Bryce, 33, found the child with one of the sheets wrapped around her neck. Police and paramedics arrived to find the child deceased.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner reported that the child’s body showed severe signs of dehydration. While in Dirk’s care, medical records show that the child’s weight had dropped from the 98th percentile to beneath the 5th percentile in the weeks before her death.
The Dirks were parents to four other children, who were removed from their home after the 3-year-old’s death. A petition was filed to terminate their parental rights, and that trial has been delayed until the criminal cases against the Dirk’s are complete.
Bryce Dirk also pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge in September, and he will be sentenced Nov. 4. He is expected to be sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison.
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