Weather Forecast


Lake pleads guilty to manslaughter

A Cannon Falls man pleaded guilty Monday to second-degree manslaughter charges for causing the 2009 death of 2-year-old Jazmyn Weiker-Hanson.

Justin David Lake, 30, faces a minimum of 58 months in jail, Assistant Goodhue County Attorney Erin Kuester said.

Lake admitted in a plea hearing Monday that the toddler had fallen off of a bed and began to cry. To distract Weiker-Hanson, he said, he swung the toddler around by her ankles. Lake said he lost his footing and the child hit her head on the doorframe or doorknob.

Lake said he did not call 911 right away, but he admitted he knew something wasn't right with the child, Kuester said. He made several phone calls and did an Internet search before calling paramedics.

Weiker-Hanson was unconscious when first-responders arrived. She died four days later from head injuries.

Lake also admitted that he had smoked marijuana before the incident, Kuester said.

Lake was released on $100,000 bond in 2009 and has since been abiding by the conditions of that bond. He will return to court for sentencing April 15.

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.