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Woman gets at least 15 years in prison for killing girlfriend’s toddler

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

A Charlotte woman was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison Thursday in connection with the death of her girlfriend’s nearly 2-year-old son in 2011.

Cassandra Mingo was sentenced to 15 to 17 years in prison in the death of Coltton Eliejah Doleman, who died in December 2011.

Police investigators initially treated the case as a death investigation after Mingo told them Coltton had fallen down the stairs after getting out of the bathtub.

But the Mecklenburg Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Coltton had died as a result of blunt force trauma to the abdomen. The toddler’s ribs had been broken, apparently as he lay on his back, according to the autopsy.

Coltton’s mother, Kayla Doleman, said in court that she felt betrayed by Mingo, whom she had met on Craigslist and began dating.

“It destroys me to think the same person that was sitting with me at the funeral was the person that killed my son,” she said, sobbing in court. “He was my life. Coltton was my miracle baby. I had him prematurely. Still, to this day, I can’t have another baby. I just don’t understand how a little boy – a thriving, precocious toddler – could make you so mad that you would want to kill him.”

Mingo was arrested shortly after Coltton’s autopsy was completed, while she was on a trip to Las Vegas.

In jail, the story that she told homicide investigators began to change, said Reed Hunt, the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case. Mingo contacted homicide detectives from jail and told them that a shelf had fallen on Coltton a few days before he fell down the stairs.

And later she told them that while she was outside smoking, Coltton had reached for her cigarette and she struck him three times in the stomach area. She also demonstrated on a doll how she struck him.

Her attorney, Susan Wiegand, said Mingo had been “waiting to take this plea offer for a number of months.”

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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