OFFICE OF DAKOTA COUNTY ATTORNEY

JAMES C. BACKSTROM
COUNTY ATTORNEY
Dakota County Judicial Center 1560 Highway 55 Hastings, Minnesota 55033-2392 Phillip D. Prokopowicz, Chief Deputy Karen A. Schaffer, First Assistant Monica Jensen, Community Relations Director Telephone (651) 438-4438 FAX: (651) 438-4479 (Civil Division) FAX: (651) 438-4500 (Criminal Division) FAX: (651) 438-4499 (Juvenile/Admin Division) E-mail: attorney@co.dakota.mn.us

December 14, 2010 NEWS RELEASE CHARGES FILED AGAINST MOTHER IN DEATH OF 17-MONTH-OLD CHILD Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Melissa Louise Hokanson, age 19 of Northfield, has been charged* with Manslaughter in the Second Degree and two counts of Neglect of a Child, one felony and one gross misdemeanor), in connection with the death of her 17-month-old son Nicholas Arthur Miller who died on June 23, 2009. These charges allege that Melissa Hokanson failed to seek medical care for her son after he was injured on June 19, 2009, thereby causing his death. Tylar Hokanson, the husband of Melissa Hokanson and stepfather of Nicholas Miller, was convicted by a Dakota County Jury on November 25, 2010 of Murder in the First and Second Degree in connection with the death of Nicholas Miller. The facts pertaining to these charges are contained in the criminal complaint which can be found at http://services.co.dakota.mn.us/ComplaintSearch. Backstrom commented: “The death of a child under circumstances such as this is deeply disturbing. A thorough investigation has been completed in this matter. I do not anticipate that anyone else will be charged in connection with this tragedy.” Backstrom said that Melissa Hokanson made her first appearance in court today. She was released subject to a number of conditions and her next court appearance will be on March 14, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. in Hastings. If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty