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Prosecutor Says Mom Passed Out On Heroin While Driving With Her Baby

A Florida mother who was allegedly on heroin lost consciousness while in a car with her young child Friday night, CBS News affiliate WPEC reported.

A Walmart manager said the vehicle was stopped, with the engine off, when he came upon the scene in the store’s parking lot. The employee told authorities that he discovered Charisma Rae Jean Bondonese passed out at the wheel and the baby in the back seat. He called emergency medical personnel and the police.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department, the 31-year-old woman lives in the community of Fort Worth, about four miles from the Walmart in Greenacres. A deputy who responded to the incident said the unconscious Bondonese nearly fell out of her Honda Accord when he opened the door. The woman later explained that she had parked the car to rest for a while because she was feeling sleepy.

Officers reported that Bondonese appeared to be confused, and that she slurred her speech in answering their questions. The deputies said they spotted various syringes, needles, plungers, caps and other drug paraphernalia in the car. They also detected bruises and needle track marks on each of Bondonese’s arms. The mother defended herself by claiming that she used the syringes to treat her diabetes and high blood sugar. However, Greenacres Fire Rescue first responders determined that her blood-sugar levels were normal, and that the track marks did not indicate diabetes injections.

Investigators’ suspicions apparently were confirmed when a test of blood from one of the syringes showed traces of heroin. The child could have easily gotten hold of the needles, according to the sheriff’s officers. They transported Bondonese to the Palm Beach County Jail and charged her with child neglect, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.

In another recent child-endangerment case, a nanny allegedly attempted to kill a 2-month-old boy in Manhattan. According to the New York Daily News, Assistant District Attorney James Zaletaa said 45-year-old Marianne Benjamin-Williams “shoved a wadded-up baby wipe down the throat” of the baby, identified only as “Maxwell,” in the family’s home at Waterside Plaza.

Police officers reported that the woman told them: “He’s choking. He likes to chew on baby wipes.” However, doctors who examined the child said someone had intentionally forced the gauze down the boy’s throat. They pointed at the nanny as the likely culprit, since the only other person inside the home was the baby’s 14-month-old sister. Benjamin-Williams testified at a grand jury hearing that she tried to clear the boy’s throat because he was having a hard time breathing. The baby later recovered at a nearby hospital.

Benjamin-Williams’ attorney, Leonard Levenson, argued that the child accidentally swallowed the baby wipe. He insisted that his client was innocent, and claimed that the boy’s parents loved her. The lawyer revealed that Benjamin-Williams moved to the United States 11 years ago, after serving as a sergeant in the Israeli army.

The prosecutor charged the defendant with attempted murder, assault, strangulation, reckless endangerment, possession of a forged instrument, endangering the welfare of a child, and falsifying documents to gain employment as a nanny.

Source: CBS 12, NY Daily News
Photo: PBSO, Facebook

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