A mom from Echo Park accused of killing her 11-year-old son, who allegedly died due to neglect and severe malnutrition, pleaded not guilty to murder and child abuse charges Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Veronica Aguilar, 39, was charged with one count each of murder and child abuse resulting in death after the body of her son, Yonatan Daniel Aguilar, was found wrapped in a blanket inside a closet in their home in the 2100 block of Santa Ynez Street last month, authorities reported.
Aguilar pleaded not guilty Thursday through a Spanish-language interpreter, was expressionless, and wore a suicide prevention- garment at the court hearing.
Investigators said the boy had been dead for several hours before police arrived at his home on Aug. 22, was severely underweight and showed signs of long-term abuse.
“It’s always tragic when a child dies, but she’s innocent until proven guilty; and at this point I don’t even have the coroner’s report so I don’t know what the cause of death is,” R. Lawrence Tripp, Aguilar’s public defender, told the newspaper. “I’ve heard all kinds of dramatic allegations in the press about injuries and the state of the child, but I don’t have any evidence at this point.”
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