Tulalip woman charged in toddler’s death

TULALIP — A Tulalip woman was ordered jailed on $75,000 cash-only bail Thursday for allegedly failing to care for her two young daughters, one of whom died earlier this week.

Christina D. Carlson, 36, is charged with two counts each of criminal endangerment and failure to support or care for a dependent person.

She appeared briefly in Tulalip Tribal Court, where she pleaded not guilty. A trial is set for early December.

Tribal court is not open to the public, but tribal officials allowed a small number of reporters to observe the hearing Thursday.

Family members filled the two benches in the small courtroom, accompanied by tribal leaders. Several prayed together before the hearing. Many held each other and wept.

Carlson was arrested Monday night after her daughter, who was 19 months old, was found not breathing in a car on the Tulalip Reservation.

The girl and her sister, who’s 2 1/2, were rushed to the hospital in need of immediate medical care, according to tribal officials.

The younger girl, identified by state social workers as Chantel Craig, died. Her cause of death remains under investigation.

Charging papers filed in tribal court allege that Carlson refused or neglected to furnish food, shelter or other proper care for the girls over a period lasting at least 20 days.

The older sister was listed Thursday in stable condition at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Tulalip Police Chief Rance Sutten said.

The older girl is expected to be hospitalized for several more days, he said.

As the hearing began, Judge Gary Bass offered his condolences to Chantel’s family for their loss.

Chantel was part of the larger tribal family as well, the judge said.

“When one of our children passes, it’s a part of us that passes,” he said.

The judge allowed Carlson to wear a blanket over her head to shield her face from news cameras. She was represented by a public defender from the University of Washington School of Law Tribal Court Public Defense Clinic.

At the prosecutor’s request, the judge also ordered Carlson to obtain a chemical dependency evaluation and mental health evaluation. She was forbidden from having any contact with minor children.

Sutten, the police chief, spoke with reporters outside the courthouse after the hearing.

The police investigation is ongoing, he said. The case requires a lot of manpower due to the seriousness of the allegations.

“We’re doing everything we can to look at everything,” he said. “We want to make sure we look at everything we can.”

If convicted as charged, Carlson could face up to a year in jail and fines.

It’s not yet clear if the case will stay in tribal court. Snohomish County prosecutors often handle serious, felony-level offenses that happen on tribal lands. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also can review tribal cases and file federal charges.

Cash-only bail is standard for tribal court, Sutten said.

Chantel’s death has been difficult and painful for many people on the reservation, he said.

Tulalip is a small, close community and many people are related, the police chief said. People are banding together to help each other through the grief.

“When things like this occur, the community comes together,” he said.

Carlson’s next hearing is set for Oct. 29. No additional arrests are expected.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Shock from WSU suicide ripples through Snohomish County

Roughly 1 in 10 seniors, sophomores and 8th-graders said they had attempted to take their own lives.

Marysville hit-and-run leaves man with broken bones

The state patrol has appealed for help solving an increasing number of hit-and-runs in the state.

$1,000 reward for info on who killed an eagle near Snohomish

After being shot, the raptor was treated at the Sarvey Wildlife Center but died overnight.

Woman confronts man leaving house with stolen item

“He swung at her with a crowbar, missing her.”

Police seek suspect in Wells Fargo bank robbery

He was described as white, in his 30s, heavyset, with blonde hair and a maroon sweatshirt.

Possible bobcat sighting keeps Snohomish students inside

The creature was spotted on the campus of Valley View Middle School around noon.

Stabbing in Everett follows dispute between brothers-in-law

The victim, 54, was hospitalized. The suspect, 29, had not been apprehended Thursday.

New leaders coming to county, state political parties

Hillary Moralez of Bothell takes over as chair for the Snohomish County Democratic Party.

Most Read