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Mother denied state psyche review after allegedly killing baby

May 20, 2013 at 5:38 PM   |   Comments

MIAMI, May 20 (UPI) -- A south Florida woman was suffering from postpartum depression when she left her baby to die shut in a sweltering car, her lawyer said.

Police have charged Carla Bruno of West Miami-Dade with aggravated manslaughter after she left her 11-month-old baby in the back seat of a Chevrolet Impala alongside her purse and a case of beer. It took the baby's father four hours to realize the baby was missing. By the time paramedics arrived, the child's core temperature was 109 degrees.

The Miami Herald said Bruno was denied a request for a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation after a judge deemed she had the resources to pay for a doctor's care on her own.

"I'm talking to her and I'm seeing someone who is a shell of a human being," Bruno's lawyer Lonnie Richardson told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Samantha Ruiz-Cohen. "She's very sick and she needs help."

In a nod to Richardson's reputation as a high-priced lawyer, Ruiz-Cohen said a private doctor's care was more appropriate and denied a bail request, saying there is "no reasonable bond that would ensure the safety of the community."

Richardson said Bruno had been diagnosed with postpartum depression two months before the child's death but that she'd stopped taking medication to address the condition because she'd run out of pills.

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