ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque mother who is accused of playing a role in her four-month-old baby’s death has pleaded not guilty to the charges. During a hearing on Monday, August 14, Christina Bennett pleaded not guilty to child abuse and possession of drug paraphernalia.
On April 21, the Albuquerque Police Department was called to a home on Ralph Avenue to reports of an unresponsive infant. When police arrived, they say Bennett refused to hand over the child and kicked an officer during her arrest.
The child died at the scene, and the autopsy showed there was methamphetamine in the four-month-old’s blood. Witnesses told police that Bennett regularly took drugs and then breastfed her baby.
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Just days before the death of the child, Bennett was caught shoplifting while holding her naked baby. Police say Bennett led them on a chase, which was quickly called off for fear of the child’s safety.
After those events, Bennett was put on pretrial detention. “The state is asking that the court find that the defendant is dangerous and there are no conditions of release that the court can impose to keep the community safe,” said state prosecutor Savannah Brandenburg. However, the case stalled while Bennett’s competency was evaluated.
The case was eventually picked back up, and Bennett has since been accused of one count of child abuse resulting in death, one count of child abuse not resulting in death, and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.