Mother charged in deaths of two infants 3 years apart

National

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California woman has pleaded not guilty to smothering her infant daughter in March and causing the death of her other baby girl three years ago.

Kristin Ann Brandon, 28, of Apple Valley, entered pleas on Aug. 6 to murder in the March death and two charges of assault on a child causing death involving both babies, the Daily Press of Victorville reported Thursday.

She was being held on $1.5 million bail.

Brandon’s 2-month-old daughter, Natalie Brandon, was found dead on March 3 at a mobile home park in Apple Valley, in the Mojave Desert northeast of Los Angeles.

“During the last five months, detectives have gathered information and evidence that determined Kristen Brandon was under the influence, therefore negligent in her care of Natalie and ultimately smothered her,” the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement Thursday.

During that investigation, detectives learned that Brandon’s 2-month-old daughter, Aryana Harper, died in 2017.

Investigators located a witness who provided information that “determined Aryana’s death was also a result of negligence while Kristin was under the influence,” the statement said.

The statement didn’t identify what substances investigators believe Brandon was using at the times of the deaths.

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