Mom who left baby in car at Black Bear Casino faces jail time
A Cloquet woman who left her baby in the car while she went inside Black Bear Casino to gamble was sentenced Monday to a year in jail, with most of that time to be served on probation or already served.
Depending on the results of a review hearing set for Aug. 21, Jordanne Teryce Setterquist, 26, won't serve more than 47 days.
Setterquist's attorney, Sonia Sturdevant, told Judge Dale Wolf that her client has been threatened since news stories were published about her case.
"My client goes to school 40 hours a week," Sturdevant said. "Since the story (on this case) came out in the paper, she has been repeatedly threatened, and her tires were (slashed). She worked with social services, and she has her child back. She has done everything that has been asked of her."
Wolf did not condone the harsh reactions of some people but said the negative community reaction was a result of her actions as a mother.
"Leaving a child that amount of time in an unlocked car is not good care-taking," he said.
Setterquist pleaded guilty to one count of fifth-degree drug possession and one count of contributing to the need for child protection, while three other charges were dropped: a second drug possession charge, possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle and possession of drug paraphernalia. On Monday, she also pleaded guilty to an unrelated petty misdemeanor charge of shoplifting.
Setterquist was arrested June 16 after Fond du Lac police officers were dispatched to the casino on a report of an infant who had been left unattended in a vehicle in the casino parking lot for about 45 minutes.
In response to a call from the casino, two Fond du Lac officers and State Trooper Dave Vereecken arrived and found an infant in a car seat in the back of the vehicle. Casino security officers told them the child had been left unattended in the vehicle for 45 minutes.
A search of license plate data revealed the owner of the car, and officers learned the owner's daughter, Jordanne Setterquist, had an infant child. An officer tracked Setterquist down in the casino by her Black Bear Casino players' card, which showed which machine she was playing.
While the officer located Setterquist, another officer found a purse in the vehicle and looked inside for identifying information. According to the criminal complaint, he found a baggie of marijuana, a pipe and two types of pills -- later identified as Lortab and a morphine sulfate pill -- in an unmarked prescription bottle.
Setterquist confirmed it was her baby in the car and acknowledged that she did not have a prescription for the pills. She was subsequently booked at the Carlton County Jail.
Wolf sentenced Setterquist to a year in jail, but stayed 305 days. She may have to serve 60 days of local confinement, with credit for 13 days already served, depending on the results of a review hearing. Her probation was set at three years.
Sturdevant asked for a hardship ruling to waive the $500 in court fees related to the case.
"You have to come back here and show us whether you want to be reporting back [to the jail] or stay out," Wolf told Setterquist, adding that he would also review the $500 fine at the August hearing.
In addition, Wolf ordered Setterquist to continue with family and mental health counseling and to abstain from all drug or alcohol use, except for drugs prescribed by her doctor.
"The drugs are illegal," he said, and explained another reason to abstain: "Alcohol may be legal, but it reflects priority, as well. If you don't have enough money for other things, then you don't have enough money for alcohol."
Wolf wished Setterquist good luck in her efforts at school and her continued efforts to be a good mother.