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Brittany Lawonn, Published June 16 2009

Fargo woman pleads guilty to trying to kill daughters

CROOKSTON, Minn., -- A Fargo woman pleaded guilty today to attempted murder for trying to kill her two daughters last year with vehicle exhaust during a failed murder-suicide attempt.

Breezetta Lowanet Etienne, 31, pleaded guilty in Polk County District Court to two counts of second-degree attempted murder in connection with the June 22, 2008 incident at her East Grand Forks home, according to a news release.

She had initially faced two counts of first-degree attempted murder, each punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Etienne, who is the sister of convicted murderer Moe Gibbs, will be sentenced on Aug. 17 at 11 a.m.

Court documents state:

Police found Etienne and her daughters, ages 3 and 4, inside a running sport utility vehicle in the family’s garage. A hose led from the exhaust pipe through a rear hatchback door into the vehicle’s interior.

Officers found the three, all conscious when they arrived, after Etienne’s estranged husband alerted authorities about text messages from his wife.

Etienne told officers her children were inside the vehicle for about 20 minutes. A carbon monoxide detector went off and registered over the limit when authorities tested the level of gas going from the hose into the SUV.

Officers found four children’s books, a cell phone, an open beer bottle and a suicide note in the vehicle.

The children were treated and released from Altru Hospital the same day.

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