A couple has been arrested and charged with murder after their 6-month-old son was found dead in an RV.
Brendon Newton was allegedly left unattended for seven hours by Sabrina Malick and Walter Newton Sept. 2, 2015.
Malick and Newton face charges of second-degree murder and felony child neglect. Malick could be sentenced to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Malick allegedly put Brendon on the sofa in the RV when she left home for the day. He was found dead, wedged between the sofa and driver’s seat.
“She was not there when the baby was found deceased, like I said, seven hours later,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Langer said, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.
At a court hearing March 15, Malick’s attorney, John McGarvey, said his client was not responsible for her son’s death.
“She was not home when the child was transported to the hospital,” McGarvey told the court. “She left the child in the care of her husband.”
Malick was held without bail following the hearing.
Linda Gonzales, a friend of Malick's, attended court and also said the 29-year-old was not responsible for Brendon’s death.
“She’s not at fault,” Gonzales said. “Maybe child neglect because of the conditions they were in. Murder, no. She loved her children. She tried her best.”
Langer pointed to Malick’s criminal record and history of drug addiction.
“We don’t really know who to believe and what to believe,” Galen Malick, Sabrina’s brother, told WTVR. “I don’t think it was to be harmful or anything, I just think it was neglect, she got busy doing something else.”
Newton has a hearing scheduled for April 4.
A man named Mark, who said he was Walter’s cousin, said the father had left Brendon unattended in the RV while he did some work.
“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, spokesman for Richmond Police Department, told WTVR.
Another child was left in the RV with Brendon and is now in the care of child protection services.