Sleepy Eye woman faces assault charges

Complaint says she tried to run down stepchildren

Fromm

BROWN COUNTY — Two charges of felony 2nd-degree assault with a dangerous weapon were filed Tuesday against a 31-year-old Sleepy Eye woman accused of trying to run over her three step-children with a car on Aug. 31.

Stephanie A. Fromm, 24262 340th Avenue, was summoned to appear in court at 9:45 a.m. April 29.

According to court documents, Brown County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jeremy Reed got a call regarding potential abuse of Fromm’s step-children on Sept. 18. The caller said the step- children said they had to jump out of the way to avoid being run over by Fromm at their rural residence.

Reed and a Brown County Child Protection Agent went to Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s School on Sept. 19 to talk to the children. The first child said he was looking out a garage window when Fromm pulled up and he saw another child running towards the shop.

He said Fromm stopped the vehicle just before she hit the shop and one child screamed. He said Fromm turned around and drove towards another child as he was walking to the shop, then jumped on the deck to avoid being hit by the vehicle.

In an interview, a seconkd child said Fromm drove faster down the driveway than she normally does, so the child ran to avoid being hit by the vehicle, then ran into the shop. She said Fromm drove back towards the house and nearly hit another child.

In addition, a child said Fromm later came to the shop and yelled at the kids for not saying “hi” to her.

Investigator Reed returned to Sleepy Eye Elementary School Sept. 20 and talked to a witness who said she was present the day Fromm drove at the three kids with the car. She said Fromm was upset because the kids were not supposed to play electronics and were given chores to do.

On Sept. 13, a search warrant was executed on the home and several electronic items were seized including devices used to record video from cameras inside and outside the residence.

On Sept. 28, New Ulm Police Investigator Chris Moellenhoff and Reed began forensic examination of the digital evidence in the case. A search warrant was issued by Judge Docherty. Due to the proprietary format of the hard drives, they were unable to physically examine the digital evidence.

On Dec. 4, Reed called the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and discussed the digital evidence. Washington County staff agreed to forensically examine the evidence. A new search warrant was obtained.

Washington County Sheriff’s Office staff showed Reed how to access the video to review. He located the incident described by the Fromm children involving her driving a maroon SUV and verified incidents the children described.

fbusch@nujournal.com

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