VICTORVILLE, Calif. (AP) – A Southern California woman pleaded not guilty on Thursday to murder and assault charges stemming from the death of a 2-year-old girl who died from complications after eating chili powder.
Amanda Sorensen, 21, entered her plea to one count each of murder and assault on a child causing death in a Victorville courtroom and was ordered held on $1 million bail. She is scheduled to return to court Jan. 17.
A telephone message left for Sorensen’s court-appointed lawyer was not immediately returned.
The girl, identified in court documents as Joileen G., was found at an Apple Valley home over the weekend suffering from a seizure after ingesting the kitchen spice, authorities said. The girl, who is the daughter of Sorenson’s boyfriend, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Results of the child’s autopsy were pending.
Investigators declined to elaborate on the case, including providing a motive.
“We felt the evidence supported the charges,” said Kathleen DiDonato, a prosecutor with the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office.
DiDonato’s boss, District Attorney Michael Ramos, recently formed a unit focused on prosecuting major crimes against children.
Ramos cited the difficulty in prosecuting such cases because often there are no witnesses and children sometimes are unable to testify. There were more than 30 crimes against children last year in San Bernardino County that includes murder, assault and torture. In 2011, there were more than 50 such crimes.
“It’s sad to say we need a major crimes against children unit for this reason,” DiDonato said of the chili powder case.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl