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Midwife accused in death of a newborn

by ANNISA KEITH
Staff Writer | August 12, 2021 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — An involuntary manslaughter case still awaits a preliminary hearing concerning the death of a newborn.

Denise Elizabeth Midstokke, 64, is out on $50,000 bail for charges of involuntary manslaughter, and destruction of evidence. If convicted, she could see a sentence of up to life in prison, and up to a $50,000 fine. In her conditions of release, Midstokke had to surrender her passport and cease providing midwife services until further notice from the court.

A sheriff’s affidavit with details from the events on Jan. 26, 2021, remains under seal. A motion to seal the affidavit cited that, if public, certain information could put cooperating individuals at risk, and expose private health information.

A criminal complaint against Midstokke outlines that she “willfully and wantonly fail[ed] to provide proper medical care while performing midwifery services.”

On June 2, Magistrate Judge Tara Harden found probable cause in the charges made against Midstokke, but a preliminary hearing has yet to happen. Midstokke waived her right to a speedy trial on Aug. 4.

Five witnesses, were subpoenaed to testify as witnesses on Aug. 4. According to court minutes, Midstokke’s defense asked for a continuance in the case, mentioning they were considering entering mediation. The mediation process is where a mediator, usually a judge, reaches an agreement with both parties outside of court.

In a 2012 article by the Daily Bee, Midstokke said she delivered 60 babies in 2011.