Man charged in death of infant son
BLOOMING PRAIRIE — A Blooming Prairie man has been charged for his role in the death of his infant son following what reports describe as a day in which the man consumed at least 24 beers in a 10-hour period.
Cory Stucky, 30, is charged with second-degree manslaughter and felony child endangerment, which carry up to 15 years in prison if convicted on both counts. The manslaughter charge requires that the defendant cause the death of another by negligently creating an unreasonable risk of death or great bodily harm.
The complaint states emergency workers responded to a report of an infant not breathing on the morning of July 18. The child, identified only by his initials in court documents, was taken to an emergency room, where he was later pronounced dead. Before going to the hospital, Stucky told police he had fallen asleep with the baby on his chest and awoke to his girlfriend screaming that the baby wasn't breathing. Autopsy results were consistent with the cause of death being asphyxiation.
In subsequent interviews with Blooming Prairie Police and a Mower County Coroner Investigator, Stucky said he got up in the night to feed the infant and fell asleep with the child on him at about 1:30 a.m., and was awakened by his girlfriend at about 7:15 a.m. When asked if he'd been drinking, he denied it but said he was a heavy sleeper. Investigators also spoke to the child's grandfather, who told them Stucky had gone through the house before their arrival gathering beer cans for a friend to discard. When asked why he had not mentioned he'd been drinking, Stucky said he hadn't been asked and said he'd had about 10 beers.
Stucky's girlfriend told police that on July 17, they had had neighbors over to go swimming and that Stucky had consumed at least 24 beers in a 10-hour stretch. He also later that night went to a bar with friends and returned inebriated enough to have trouble staying on his feet. When she got up the next morning, she said Stucky was lying facing the back of the couch, and the child was face-down on the couch under his arm. She said she had been concerned in the past with his drinking. Police also interviewed the neighbors, one of whom described Stucky's inebriation level as "tanked" during the course of the day.
Court records show Stucky made his first appearance Monday in Steele County Court. He was denied a public defender and released with conditions that include no use of alcohol or other controlled substances. His next appearance is set for Jan. 4.