Jenna Marie Tippett

OSCODA – An Oscoda woman who faced manslaughter charges has taken a plea deal to lesser charges.

Jenna Marie Tippett faced up to 15 years in prison after the death of her infant son, but with her plea of no contest to the lesser charge of 3rd-degree child abuse, she faces no jail time other than time already served in the case.

Under the sentence, handed down on Nov. 9 by Iosco County’s 23rd Circuit Court, Tippett was given 37 days in jail, less credit for seven days served, with the remaining sentence of 30 days to be held in abeyance.

As part of her sentence she will also have to serve out two years of probation, pay court-ordered assessments of $1,868 and to continue and complete parenting classes.

Tippett was originally arraigned on the charge of manslaughter in November of 2019 after a four-month investigation by the Oscoda Township Police Department into the incident that led to her infant son’s death.

Police say unsafe sleeping practices applied to Tippett’s three-month old son led to his death on July 28, 2019

According to court documents, officers were summoned to Tippett’s AuSable Township home on July 28, 2019 after reports of a cardiac arrest involving the three-month old child. Officers arrived at 5:56 a.m. to find Tippett giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the child. He was transported to the Ascension St. Joseph Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Tippett told officer that after a feeding at approximately 4:30 a.m. she suctioned the baby’s nose and put him in the swing where he slept, but discovered he was not breathing when she checked him again at approximately 6 a.m.

An autopsy conducted on the three-month-old determined the cause of death for the baby to be positional asphyxia with pulmonary edema as the cause of death and that “there are no natural diseases or physical injures contributing to his death. The manner of death is accidental.”

According to police, it was determined that previously Tippett had a two-month old daughter who died in her sleep on May 25, 2011.

An investigator for Child Protective Services (CPS) investigated and determined that a worker for Divinity Home Healthcare had provided Tippett with a portable bassinet while the family resided in Oakland County, in an effort to prevent the family from continuing to letting the three-month old boy to continue sleeping in the portable swing. 

They further determined that the bassinet had been brought to Tippett’s AuSable residence to be used, but the bassinet had not been used at the time of his death.

Officials at Child Protective Services also notified police that Tippett had been provided with a safe sleep pamphlet from DHS in Oakland for two of her children, including the deceased three-month old. The document was signed by Tippett who stated “I acknowledge that I have been informed of the risks of unsafe sleep practices including possible death or injury.”

Further, CPS officials stated that there has been documentation showing an Oakland County Health Vision Visit Progress Note stating that safe sleep practices were reviewed on every visit.

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