Patricia Ripley, 45, is facing attempted and premeditated murder charges and being held in jail with no bond
A Miami woman accused of drowning her autistic son in a canal after claiming he had been kidnapped, has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.
Patricia Ripley, 45, is facing the death penalty after prosecutors in Miami-Dade County filed a notice of intent to lay first-degree murder charges against the mom on Friday, The Miami-Herald reported.
Ripley did not appear at the court hearing via Zoom, where she was also charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated child abuse and filing a false police report.
Her attorney, Susy Ribero-Ayala, pleaded not guilty on her behalf.
Ripley’s son, Alejandro Ripley, 9, was autistic and nonverbal. He was found floating in a canal in May.
Fernandez Rundle also noted that because the boy was nonverbal, he could not have told his initial rescuers what had happened with his mother.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle last month said Ripley apparently tried to drown her son an hour earlier at a different canal but nearby residents heard yelling and rescued him. Then, Fernandez Rundle said, Ripley drove her son to another canal.
‘Unfortunately when she took him to the second canal, and there was no one there,’ Fernandez Rundle said in an interview with The Associated Press.
‘She tried it once, and people rescued him. He was alive. He could have stayed alive. She intended, from all the facts of the case, to kill him.’
More to come.