Waseca County Courthouse

File photo.

The Free Press

WATERVILLE — A grandmother and an acquaintance are charged with felonies after allegedly exposing a baby and a child to methamphetamine.

Julie Ann Mertins, 56, of rural Waterville, was charged with two felony counts of causing a child to be exposed to meth Monday in Waseca County District Court. Jesse David Miller, 45, of Waterville, is facing one count of the same charge.

Someone from the Mayo Clinic Health System in Waseca called authorities in September after a mother brought in her 7-month-old son whom she believed had been in Mertins’ house while meth was being smoked.

A physician told an investigator the infant appeared unharmed and recommended a hair follicle test to confirm exposure.

The mother told the investigator her mother, Mertins, provided child care for the baby. When the baby’s father picked his son up on Sept. 16, he saw a man later identified as Miller smoking from a meth pipe. The father said Miller was smoking in the living room and Mertins was holding the baby in a doorway between the living room and a bedroom.

Miller reportedly told the investigator he did not realize there was a baby in the house when he smoked meth with Mertins and two others.

The baby’s hair later tested positive for meth, according to the criminal complaint.

The mother then decided to also have her other child tested because the child also had spent time in Mertins’ home. That child (whose age is not identified in the court document) also tested positive for meth.

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