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Forum staff reports, Published July 18 2013

Trial set for Moorhead father charged in baby’s death in van

MOORHEAD – The father accused in the death of his 5-month-old baby girl is set to stand trial Oct. 8.

Andrew Sandstrom, 24, pleaded not guilty Thursday to the charge of second-degree manslaughter. He is accused of leaving his daughter Christiana Sandstrom in a hot car for hours, leading to her death.

Sandstrom’s attorney Kenneth Kludt entered the not guilty plea for the father during a hearing Thursday. Sandstrom was present, along with his wife, but he didn’t speak during the hearing.

According to court records, Sandstrom told police he was at times napping and “awake or dazed” during the estimated four hours he left Christiana in the family’s van while watching he and his wife’s six children.

The other five children – three boys ages 6, 5 and 1½ along with two girls ages 7 and 3 – are in foster care in Wahpeton, N.D. after being taken into custody by Clay County Social Services the night of Christiana’s death.

Sandstrom, who is out on bail, is barred from having a supervising responsibility over any children. He is allowed to travel to Wahpeton to have supervised contact with his children, according to court records.