MIAMI (WGHP) -- A mother in Florida who is accused of drowning her 9-year-old son in a canal last month has pleaded not guilty through her attorney Friday, the Miami Herald reports.
Patricia Ripley, 45, is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, aggravated child abuse and filing a false police report.
Her son, Alejandro Ripley, who had severe autism and was nonverbal, was found dead on May 22 in a canal at a golf and country club in western Miami-Dade County.
Prosecutors have filed a notice to seek a grand jury indictment for first-degree murder. At this time, grand juries have been suspended due to the pandemic. Someone cannot receive the death penalty unless they are indicted by a grand jury, according to Florida law.