Posted: Jul 9, 2013 7:52 PM by Victoria Fregoso - MTN News
BILLINGS - Tiffany Michele Hossner entered a not guilty plea in a Billings courtroom on Tuesday on a charge of negligent homicide in the death of her baby.
An affidavit from the Yellowstone County Attorney's Office alleges that Hossner fell asleep on top of her infant son on February 25, 2012, causing the baby to die from asphyxiation.
The death took place at the Holiday Inn on Midland Road in Billings.
During questioning, Hossner told a Billings officer that she was nursing the baby when she fell asleep.
Medical records show Hossner had a blood alcohol level of .296 the night of the incident.
Hossner, a Bozeman resident, had traveled to Billings the weekend of February 25 along with her infant son and 6-year-old daughter to pick up her husband Josh Hossner, who was incarcerated at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility on traffic violations.
Josh Hossner told detectives he left the hotel room with their daughter around 3:30 p.m. that day to go to the swimming pool.
When they returned to the room around 5 p.m. Josh said he saw his wife sleeping and it appeared the infant was underneath her. Josh said this did not "look right" so he woke up his wife and grabbed the baby.
The affidavit says the infant was cold to the touch and had blue lips and was not breathing. Josh says he attempted CPR.
According to Josh, Tiffany became hysterical and he attempted to calm her down but was unable to do so.
He says he then went outside to smoke a cigarette and get his daughter food. After he returned to the hotel room at 6:06 p.m., Josh says he placed a call to 911.
When asked why it took him so long to call 911, Josh told police that he wasn't sure what to do and was attempting to calm down his wife.
Tiffany was taken to Billings Clinic where hospital staff described her as "significantly intoxicated."
During their investigation, detectives found a wine glass next to the hotel room bed with remnants of whiskey in it.
Further questioning with Josh revealed the hotel gave the family a free bottle of wine at around 10:30 that morning. He also admitted to purchasing a small bottle of Black Velvet whiskey the night before. He said after taking a "swig" from the bottle of wine, his wife drank the rest of the bottle. He also said she drank the remaining whiskey.
Before leaving to the pool with his daughter, Josh said his wife appeared to be intoxicated.
Detectives also discovered the couple ordered a bottle of William Hill Chardonnay through room service on February 24.
On he morning of February 25, Josh purchased a one liter bottle of Seagram's Seven whiskey from a casino across the street. Neither of these purchases were mentioned to detectives during interviews.
Records show that Tiffany Hossner was arrested in August of 2011 in Bozeman for driving under the influence while pregnant with the now- deceased child, along with her husband's teenage son. She was charged with DUI and endangering the welfare of children.
In September of 2011, police reports say Tiffany was pregnant and highly intoxicated and driving around Bozeman. She was seen on a surveillance video stealing two alcoholic beverages from a convenience store and went into the bathroom to drink them. Reports then say she left in a vehicle to pick up her then 4-year-old daughter from preschool.
Tiffany and her husband were investigated by Child & Family Services three times in 2011. Reports were made regarding Tiffany and her drinking and the alleged neglect of her daughter. The affidavit says she met with a CPS worker in September of 2011 and admitted to being an alcoholic and planned on getting help for her drinking.
The two got married after the infant's death on March 3, 2012, in Gallatin County.
Further court dates are pending after Hossner's not guilty plea to negligent homicide on July 9.
Yellowstone County attorney Ingrid Rosenquist requested that Hossner be placed on the 24/7 sobriety program.
Hossner agreed to the program and will begin on July 15, 2013 when she returns home in Gallatin County after a family reunion in Idaho.