Tax dollars to help defend Southwest Miami-Dade woman accused of drowning autistic son – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

MIAMI (AP) – Tax dollars help meet defense costs for a Florida woman charged with first degree murder drowning her autistic 9-year-old son.

Miami-Dade Circuit judge Daryl Trawick ruled in an order released Thursday that 46-year-old Patricia Ripley was charged with certain costs, including tipping, private investigators, and experts who specialize in keeping defendants off Florida’s death row, is needy, reported the Miami Herald. Similar death penalty cases have cost experts, investigators, and other costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Prosecutors protested, pointing out that her family owns an expensive home in South Florida and is ending up in the Dominican Republic.

Ripley is currently still responsible for paying the $ 300,000 raised by her private defense lawyers. If the judge determines that she is indigent for legal fees, the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office will represent her.

Ripley is charged with the May 2020 death of Alejandro Ripley, who suffered from severe autism and was unable to speak. She is charged with first degree murder and several other crimes. She remains locked up while she waits for the trial. She pleaded not guilty.

Patricia Ripley initially called 911 and said two black men took their son after walking off a street south of Miami, police said. An Amber Alert was issued for the boy. The child’s body was found the next day in a canal a few miles from the area where it said the kidnapping had taken place.

Investigators were initially suspicious of Ripley’s alternating reports on what had happened. They learned that Ripley was caught by surveillance cameras early in the evening, which authorities said pushed the boy into a sewer. A spectator rescued the boy from the water.

Police said the mother pushed the child back into the water at a different location about an hour later and the child drowned.

When police confronted Ripley, they admitted they made up the kidnapping story. She also admitted leading the child to the canal where he died and said, according to the police report, “He will be in a better place”.

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