Convicted In Drunk Toddler Case, Iowa City Mother Arrested Again

Vanessa Miller

IOWA CITY -- An Iowa City mother sentenced to probation in January after police said she let her toddler become drunk was arrested early this morning on suspicion of interfering with a department of corrections officer.

Natasha Kriener, 27, of Iowa City, was arrested on suspicion of interference with a Department of Correctional Services officer after she was found at 12:33 a.m. intoxicated and in the company of her minor sister, according to a criminal complaint.

Kriener was in the home of another probationer when a correctional officer found her and suspected she was drunk, according to the complaint. Kreiner is accused of repeatedly interrupting the officer as he investigated whether she was in violation of her probation, the complaint states.

She had to be told repeatedly to stop interrupting and to remain silent, the officer reported, and she "chose to continue interrupting."

Another person on probation – Raxeem Eberhart, 24, of North Liberty – was arrested at the same time by the same officer on suspicion of interference with a correctional officer. She is accused of refusing to cooperate with the officer, and she also appeared to be under the influence of alcohol, according to the complaint.

Kriener is being held at the Johnson County Jail in lieu of a $2,500 bond.

She was sentenced in January to a suspended prison term of up to 10 years. She could be sentenced to serve that time if she's found guilty of violating the conditions of her three-year probation term. If she had stayed out of trouble, her record would have been cleared of the felony charge.

Kriener pleaded guilty in November to felony neglect or abandonment after authorities said her children's father discovered their youngest son had consumed alcohol.

The father picked up their two sons from Kriener's home on Feb. 17, 2012, and he had to take their 23-month-old to the emergency room because he was crying and suffering from poor balance, according to a criminal complaint.

At the hospital, the boy's blood alcohol content was recorded at .097, "incredibly high for a small child," according to Assistant Johnson County Attorney Rachel Zimmerman. Toddler was showing signs of intoxication, including poor balance, discomfort and fussiness, according to police.

When officers questioned Kriener that night about her son's hospitalization, her blood alcohol content was .251, according to police. And the toddler's older brother told investigators that his brother "drank pop and go sick," officers reported.

Zimmerman asked the judge during Kriener's sentencing hearing not to suspend her sentence because she believes Kriener has an abuse problem and can't provide care for her child. The judge said part of the reason she approved a deferred sentence is because Kriener has a minimal criminal history.
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