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Minnesota woman pleads not guilty to child endangerment

CALEDONIA, Minn. -- A southeastern Minnesota woman has pleaded not guilty to charges that she endangered her child after passing out from drinking. Nichole Amanda Fruechte, 31, of La Crescent was charged Dec. 13 in Houston County District Court w...

CALEDONIA, Minn. -- A southeastern Minnesota woman has pleaded not guilty to charges that she endangered her child after passing out from drinking.

Nichole Amanda Fruechte, 31, of La Crescent was charged Dec. 13 in Houston County District Court with two counts of endangerment of a child, both gross misdemeanors.

She pleaded not guilty Tuesday; her next court appearance has been set for Feb. 18. Fruechte has been released from jail in lieu of $6,000 conditional bond.

The charges stem from an alleged incident Dec. 12, when deputies responded to a home in La Crescent.

According to the criminal complaint, they noted a strong odor of alcohol coming from Fruechte, who was described as having bloodshot, watery eyes and "was shouting everything she was saying."

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A man there told them he'd tried calling the house from work, but received no answer. He was worried, he said, because he knew Fruechte and a 1-year-old child were there, so he went to the home.

When he went inside, Fruechte was passed out on the couch, the complaint says, and food was burning on two burners, which were both on. The child was "running around the house and screaming, and (Fruechte) was still not moving," he said.

The man called another woman to come over and help; according to the complaint, the woman had to pull Fruechte off the couch and slap her to wake her up.

Fruechte allegedly said she'd had three glasses of wine. A preliminary breath test administered at the scene registered a 0.277, the report says.

If convicted, each count carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail, a $3,000 fine, or both.

Related Topics: CRIME
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