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A onetime Champlin day-care provider received a term of more than seven years for putting down a 6-month-old boy "a little harder than normal" and inflicting a severe brain injury.

Michelle M. Holte, 59, was sentenced Friday in Hennepin County District Court. She had pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in connection with injuring the boy on Oct. 18 at her home in the 11700 block of Colorado Avenue N.

With credit for time in jail since her arrest, Holte is expected to serve about five years in prison and the balance of her roughly 7½-year term on supervised release.

Holte's day-care license, which the state has since revoked, had allowed her to care for up to 10 children in her home.

The criminal complaint said the boy, whose identity has not been released in public court documents, suffered a severe brain injury, and bleeding on the brain and elsewhere in his head.

A few days before sentencing, defense attorney Derek Archambault pleaded for leniency. He asked Judge Jay Quam to spare Holte prison and sentence her to probation.

Archambault wrote to the court that the boy's injuries were the "result of a single, isolated act at the hands of a person who has hitherto lived an irreproachable life and presents little risk of reoffending. ... For 29 years, she operated a daycare out of her home, lovingly caring for and safeguarding countless children in that time."

Prosecutors countered that Holte did not call 911 or the boy's parents after the incident.

"A childcare provider takes on a special and heightened role in society," prosecutors wrote. "Her excuses for this conduct ring hollow and should not be accepted by this court."

According to the complaint and an accompanying court filing:

The boy's parents picked him up from day care and noticed he would not look straight ahead and his limbs were rigid.

After taking the boy to the hospital, his mother called Holte, who explained that her son was dropped by another child. Holte gave police the same account, but a doctor examined the boy and said the injuries were inconsistent with Holte's contention.

During a second interview with police, Holte acknowledged tossing the boy into a playpen and "putting him down a little harder than normal," the complaint quoted her as saying.

She added that she has been providing day care for so long that she got to "a breaking point in a bad way, in a wrong way," her quotes in the complaint continued.