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Mother charged in death of special needs child

Mother charged in death of special needs child

Brandy Devine

POSTED July 18, 2012 9:02 a.m.


The Turlock Police Department arrested a 25-year-old Turlock woman Monday afternoon on the suspicion she caused the death of her 2-year-old disabled daughter.

The police department has released few details about the incident and has already sent the case to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.

The mother, identified as Brandy Lee Rose Devine, currently is in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail with no bail amount set. She is being charged with murder and two counts of abusing or endangering the health of a child, according to the Stanislaus County Jail website. She has a court appearance scheduled for today.

Officers and detectives were dispatched to the multi-family unit in the 1100 block N. Denair Avenue around 12:30 p.m. Monday. The request for law enforcement was made by emergency medical personnel who had been dispatched to the scene after receiving a 911 call about a non-responsive child.

When law enforcement arrived they found the 2-year-old girl deceased, said police spokesman Officer Mayra Lewis.

Devine was later interviewed by investigators and was subsequently arrested for crimes related to the death of the child, Lewis said.

A cause of death has not been released.

The 2-year-old was named Stephanie, according to neighbor Carlton Whitworth.

Whitworth said the girl was a special needs child and that Devine was mother to three other children as well — a 6-year-old girl, a 4-year-old girl and an infant son about 7-months old. All the other children were put into Child Protective Services’ custody.

Whitworth said he had seen signs of neglect among the other children.

“They were always dirty and would run to my fridge looking for food,” Whitworth said. “I felt bad for them and had a sleepless night last night wondering if I should have called CPS. But it’s different out here. I live in a no snitching zone.”

Whitworth painted a picture of the home as one frequented “by lots of men coming and going” and described Devine as a “tweaker,” the nickname given to methamphetamine addicts.

Investigators were at the scene for several hours Monday. Sometime after the police left someone pried open the back door of the residence and burglarized it. It’s unknown what if anything was taken and no suspect information was available.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact Detective Justin Williamson at 668-5550 ext. 6631.

The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program.  Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward. 

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