Sabrina Malick and Walter E. Newton face charges of second-degree murder and felony child neglect
Six months after their baby son was found dead in their recreational vehicle, wedged between a couch and the driver’s seat, the parents of Brendon Newton have been charged with murder and child neglect, according to reports.
The 6-month-old boy had been left alone for seven hours on the day he died, said prosecutors, who brought charges of second-degree murder and felony child neglect against Sabrina Malick, 29, and Walter E. Newton, 46, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Prosecuting attorney Mary Langer claimed that Malick left the boy on the couch in the RV, which the family was living in, and propped up pillows to hold a bottle to his mouth. Newton found the child dead seven hours later, Langer said.
The cause of death was asphyxiation. Police have not disclosed exactly how the asphyxiation occurred.
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Police investigated the case for six months before bringing the charges, reports WWBT-TV. While the medical examiner ruled the death accidental, prosecutors says the parents still bear some responsibility.
“Justice sometimes grinds a little slow, but we believe we have a strong case in this case and we’ll move forward with it,” Gene Lepley, a spokesman for the Richmond Police Department, told WTVR-TV.
Linda Gonzales, a friend of Malick’s, objected to the murder charge. “She’s not at fault,” Gonzales told the Times-Dispatch. “Maybe child neglect because of the conditions they were in. Murder, no. She loved her children. She tried her best.”
Malick was denied bond at a hearing Tuesday. Newton is expected to have a bond hearing as well. Neither has yet entered a plea in the case.