BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Dec. 2, 2020 11:30 a.m. UPDATE: A mother facing child neglect charges resulting in the death of her 5-month-old baby rejected a plea deal.
The Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney’s office confirmed Ariel Bennett backed out of a second plea involving child neglect charges brought against her.
The charges stem from a 2015 incident regarding the death of one of her children. Bennett’s husband, Andrew, admitted to giving her several alcoholic beverages before leaving Ariel alone with their three children: an infant, a two-year-old and a four-year-old. Detectives said Ariel was apparently drunk and unconscious when she rolled onto the baby, who later died at a local hospital.
Aug. 22, 2017 4:48 p.m. UPDATE: A plea hearing was held in Raleigh County on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 in front of Judge Robert Burnside. Andrew Bennett pleaded guilty to one count of Gross Child Neglect Creating a Significant Risk of Serious Bodily Injury or Death. The charge stems from an incident which happened on Nov. 7, 2015 which resulted in the death of his 5-month-old child.
Bennett admitted to giving his wife, Ariel Bennett, several alcoholic beverages before leaving her alone with their three children. In addition to the infant, there was also two-year-old and a four-year-old. While Mrs. Bennett was alone with the children she apparently passed out and rolled onto the infant. The child was taken to a local hospital where the baby died.
Andrew Bennett faces one to five years in prison when he is sentenced on September 28, 2017. That hearing is set for 9 a.m. Ariel Bennett was also indicted in the case. Her pretrial hearing was continued until the next term which should be in September or October.
ORIGINAL STORY: Aug. 10, 2017, 5 p.m. Officers with the Beckley Police Department have arrested the parents of a 5-month-old child who died on Nov. 7, 2015. Andrew Bennett, 28, and Ariel Bennett, 25, both of Beckley, WV are charged with Child Neglect Resulting in Death and two counts of Gross Child Neglect Creating Substantial Risk of Serious Injury or Death.
According to detectives, Ariel Bennett was apparently drunk after drinking alcohol that was given to her by Andrew Bennett. Mrs. Bennett then fell unconscious and rolled onto the infant while sleeping. Investigators said that the child died as a result.
Investigators said the couple lived in deplorable condition and there were signs of gross child neglect. Officers contacted Child Protective Services and the couple’s two toddler-age children were removed from the home. The parents were arraigned in front of Magistrate Greg Tanner. They are being held in the Southern Regional Jail on $500,000 bond each.