MANKATO, Minn. – A southern Minnesota woman has entered an Alford plea in the death of her 16-month-old son.
Chelsea Rae Olinger, 28 of Mankato, had been charged with 2nd and 3rd degree murder, 1st degree assault, and malicious punishment of a child. She entered the Alford plea Monday to 1st degree manslaughter and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 18 in Blue Earth County District Court. An Alford plea means Olinger is not admitting guilt but concedes she could be convicted at trial and will accept sentencing.
Olinger was arrested in February 2020 after she brought her child to the hospital in Mankato. The boy was then transferred to Mayo Clinic in Rochester with a brain injury, compression fractures of two vertebrae, seven broken ribs, a laceration of the liver, and numerous bruises. The boy was declared dead two days later.
Investigators say Olinger claimed her son had fallen down a flight of stairs but Mayo doctors said the injuries were not consistent with a fall but were what you would see with non-accidental trauma.
Olinger remains in the Blue Earth County Jail on $500,000 bond.