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East Grand Forks woman pleads guilty to attempting to murder two daughters

A mother who East Grand Forks police say tried to poison her daughters and herself with vehicle exhaust pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder Tuesday.

Breezetta Etienne
Breezetta Etienne

A mother who East Grand Forks police say tried to poison her daughters and herself with vehicle exhaust pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder Tuesday.

Police reported finding Breezetta Etienne and her daughters, ages 3 and 4, inside a running sport utility vehicle in the garage of their home in June 2008. A hose led from the exhaust pipe into the vehicle's interior, according to a criminal complaint.

The three were conscious when officers arrived, and the children were treated and released at Altru Hospital the same day.

Police say a suicide note was in the vehicle.

Polk County Attorney Greg Widseth said, in this case, Minnesota sentencing guidelines call for 153 months (almost 13 years) in prison on the first count and 173 months (about 14½ years) on the second. Both sides have agreed that the sentences imposed will run concurrent with each other, Widseth said.

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"Since the case is still pending and sentencing is not complete, my office will not be making any further comments regarding the case," Widseth wrote in an e-mail.

"We will make our office's position clear at sentencing."

Etienne, 31, is set to be sentenced Aug. 17.

After the incident, Etienne underwent a psychological evaluation, and her daughters were living with their father and other family, police said.

She has been allowed to have supervised visits with her kids, according to court documents.

Etienne, who now lives in Fargo, served at Grand Forks Air Force Base and worked as a physician assistant.

She is the sister of Moe Gibbs, who was convicted in 2007 of murdering Mindy Morgenstern, a student at Valley City (N.D.) State University.

A message left for public defender Eric Gudmundson, who is representing Etienne, was not returned Thursday.

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Ingersoll reports on crime and courts. Reach him at (701) 780-1269; (800) 477-6572, ext. 269; or send e-mail to aingersoll@gfherald.com .

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTS
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