Minnesota Man Sentenced For 2009 Murder of His Infant Daughter
Anoka, MN (KROC-AM News) - A cold case murder investigation has resulted in an 11 1/2-year prison sentence for a Minnesota man.
38-year-old Benjamin Russell was given the punishment today during a hearing in Anoka County Court. He earlier entered a guilty plea to a second-degree murder charge for causing the death of his infant daughter 14 years ago.
The charges were filed against the Anoka man a year ago after investigators obtained information that indicated he had confessed to killing the infant in January 2009. The criminal complaint says Anoka County Sheriff's deputies were sent to the family's home in Coon Rapids 14 years ago in response to a 911 call from Russell, who reported that his daughter had stopped breathing.
He told investigators that he found her face down on her blanket when he checked on her about an hour after he put the infant down for a nap. Russell also indicated that it appeared the baby had rolled over onto her stomach and onto the blanket, which he had used to prop up her bottle. The autopsy ruled that her death was caused by positional asphyxiation, based partially on the statement Russell gave to investigators.
The court document says the baby's mother contacted investigators last summer and told them Russell had visited her and confessed to killing the infant. She stated that Russell told her he had become upset because the baby would not stop crying and he had placed a pillow over her face and held it for a period of time before he left the room with the pillow still on the infant's face.