Prosecutors: Baby left alone for hours died stuck between couch, driver's seat

Published: Mar. 15, 2016 at 5:13 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2017 at 8:19 PM EDT
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Sabrina Malick and Walter Newton are charged with child neglect and second-degree murder in the...
Sabrina Malick and Walter Newton are charged with child neglect and second-degree murder in the death of an infant. (Source: Richmond Police Dept.)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The mother of the infant found dead in September was denied bond on Tuesday.

The commonwealth's attorney says Sabrina A. Malick, 29, left Brendon Newton, who was less than a year old, on a couch in an RV in the 1800 block of Jefferson Davis Highway on Sept. 12 for several hours.

She propped Newton up on pillows to hold a bottle in the child's mouth. The baby's father, Walter E. Newton, 46, found the boy wedged between a couch and the RV's driver's seat, attorneys said.

Malick and Newton face charges of second-degree murder and child neglect charges.

Police investigated the case for six months before bringing charges in the death last week.

Newton's cousin says the couple had been living in the RV at an auto body shop on Jefferson Davis Highway for some time. He says he was at the shop the day Brendon died and believes the child was left alone.

The Medical Examiner says Brendon died from positional asphyxia, and the manner of death is an accident. Positional asphyxiation occurs when the body is positioned in such a way that a person can't breathe. The Virginia Department of Health lists it as one of the top three reasons babies die before their first birthday.

While the Medical Examiner's opinion is that the death is accidental, legal experts say prosecutors can file charges if they feel the parents bear some responsibility.

Trial dates for Malick and Newton have not been set.

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