NewsCrime and Courts


Woman pleads guilty in the death of her infant daughter in Butte

Audria Shannon Nickerson
Audria Shannon Nickerson of Butte was arrested in Maine
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Audria Shannon Nickerson
Posted at 2:27 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 16:55:58-05

BUTTE — Audria Nickerson pleaded guilty Thursday in connection with the death of her infant daughter in Butte in 2019.

Nickerson is accused of falling asleep on her baby daughter while in her car parked near the Butte police department in September 2019. Nickerson was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time.

Nickerson, 31 years old, changed her plea to guilty to a charge of negligent homicide in Butte District Court via remote video from the Butte jail, according to Samm Cox, the Butte Chief Deputy County Attorney; Cox said a pre-sentence investigation will be conducted before a sentencing date is set for Nickerson, who remains jailed.

Nickerson was in the process of packing to move from Butte to Maine when the death occurred. She had gotten into an argument with her husband and left in her car with her children. Nickerson, who was under the influence of meth at the time, parked near the police station, where she accidentally smothered her infant daughter by falling asleep on her.

Nickerson was not arrested at the time. She had moved to Maine and was arrested three months later after toxicology reports showed meth in her system.

(SEPTEMBER 26, 2019) A 30-year-old Butte woman is being questioned by police after she was found in her parked car with her dead 5-month old daughter Wednesday morning.

Police say there are a lot of unanswered questions about this very tragic incident. The incident began at about 8:40 a.m. when police officers noticed the car parked in an area less than a block from the police station The car's engine was running, and the car doors were locked.

“They attempted to wake the female up and as they did that it appeared she was laying partially on an infant who was also in the vehicle. At that point they decided to break a window out of the passenger side of the vehicle and when they got to the infant, the infant was not breathing and had no pulse,” said Butte Sheriff Ed Lester.

Police also found the mother’s son sleeping in the backseat. Now the 2 or 3-year old child is fine and in the custody of Child & Family Services.

“As far as the whole circumstances, as far as why she was there, how she came to be there, and how long she’d been there, at this point, we’re not sure and that’s something we’ll be working on over the next couple of days,” said Lester.

The mother, whose name has not yet been released, is still being questioned by police as of Wednesday afternoon and no charges have been filed yet in this very tragic incident, which the Sheriff said has been difficult for officers involved.