Shacara Foster, 28, entered her plea Wednesday in Hennepin County Court and now awaits sentencing. Foster's former boyfriend, 22-year-old Kentae Todd, pled guilty to the same second-degree murder charge back in July and has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
The pleas come almost 18 months after authorities were first dispatched to a home on the 3700 bock of Hillview Lane in St. Bonifacius on the night of Feb. 10, 2012, for what was reported as a medical issue concerning a child. Upon arrival, police found a 19-month-old boy in serious medical distress, and the child was transported to Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia. Cottrell Short was pronounced dead a short time later.
As many as 15 people were living in the St. Bonifacious home, and police reported finding garbage, dead animals and generally squalid living conditions.
An autopsy revealed multiple fractures to the child's extremities, as well as injuries to his abdomen and head. The boy also suffered from sepsis, according to authorities. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has ruled the manner of death homicide.
“Many serious injuries were inflicted on a very young child,” Minnetrista Police Chief Paul Falls said during a news conference two days after Short's death.
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek told reporters that it was "clear from the list of injuries that this little boy died a horrible death."
“It is disturbing that he also had suffered from abuse and neglect prior to his death,” Sheriff Stanek said.