BUTTE — Audra Nickerson, who pleaded guilty in connection with the 2019 death of her infant daughter, was sentenced on Monday.
Nickerson pleaded guilty in March to a charge of negligent homicide for falling asleep on her baby in her car near the Butte Police Department in September 2019. She was in the process of moving from Butte to Maine when it happened.
After an argument with her husband, Nickerson left in her car and parked near Butte's police station, where she 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 methamphetamine in her system.
Nickerson, 31 years old, was sentenced in Butte District Court to the Montana Women’s Prison for 20 years, with six of the years suspended.
(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.
“You know there’s a little bit of a cloud over the department today because of this incident, everybody’s disappointed and especially those officers who did CPR, they’re a little distraught there were unable to save the child and that’s understandable,” said Lester.
The woman and her children are Butte residents. An autopsy will be performed on the infant to determine the cause and manner of death.