Pater pleads not guilty to manslaughter and additional crimes


June 23—The Glenville woman charged with manslaughter in the December 2021 death of her two-month-old son entered the case Thursday afternoon in Mower County District Court.

Jocelyn Leslie Pater, 25, pleaded not guilty to four counts, including second degree manslaughter, child endangerment, exposure of a child to drugs and fifth degree drug possession.

Pater was initially charged earlier this month.

According to the court complaint, the child died in Rochester on Dec. 17, 2021, four days after he was discovered without a pulse in the 400 block of Southwest 27th Street in Austin.

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According to the medical examiner’s autopsy report, the infant died as a result of being laid down while sleeping with an adult. A few days earlier, on December 14, an MRI showed diffuse anoxic brain injury and a follow-up CT scan on December 16 also showed diffuse anoxic brain injury as well as damage to the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and midbrain.

Toxicology results were positive for methamphetamine, although it is unclear whether or not the presence of methamphetamine contributed to the cause of death.

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The child was discovered not breathing by another woman, who entered the residence and discovered the child’s face in Pater’s chest area and that it was purple and blue, took the child at a neighbor’s home where mouth-to-mouth recitation was attempted until the police arrived.

Pater told police she lay down with the child on the couch and was woken up an hour later by the woman.

As Austin police secured his apartment after the incident, a syringe loaded with what appeared to be methamphetamine was discovered. After obtaining a search warrant, a detective eventually discovered a digital scale, three needles in Pater’s room, a meth pipe on the bed near a baby bottle, a 0.08 gram bag of meth , a bottle teat and bottles containing liquid.

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Pater reportedly admitted she had consumed daily for about three weeks before the death after claiming she had not come down until the infant died.

A jury trial is scheduled for November 14.


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