Grand jury indicts Starbuck woman in death of boy, 4
GLENWOOD — A grand jury in Pope County has issued indictments charging Amanda Lea Peltier, 32, of Starbuck, with first-degree murder while committing child abuse and murder in the second degree while committing malicious punishment of a child.
The indictments issued Nov. 14 are in addition to a charge of second-degree unintentional murder originally filed against Peltier on July 25.
The first-degree charge carries a possible maximum sentence of life in prison. Only a grand jury may bring first-degree charges.
Peltier is accused of killing 4-year-old Eric Parker Dean, the son of Sommar Kemp of Glenwood and David Dean of Starbuck. Dean was Peltier’s live-in fiancé at the time of the boy’s death, according to published reports.
The criminal complaint alleges that Peltier told investigators that she was upset with the youth and “launched’’ him across a room in her house on Feb. 26 in Starbuck. He was airlifted to the St. Cloud Hospital that evening and died there early the next morning.
He was unresponsive when medical responders arrived at Peltier’s home. He had reportedly been throwing up and complaining of pain before help was summoned.
A medical examiner’s report found that he had suffered multiple injuries to his scalp, mouth, face and lower extremities, according to the an earlier Forum News Service report. The boy’s bowel had been perforated from blunt force abdominal trauma, which was ruled the cause of his death.
The complaint alleges that a day care provider had told investigators that she had seen the youth with apparent bite marks and bruises and that she had contacted child protective services.
Bail remains at $25,000 with conditions and $100,000 without conditions.