KEY POINTS

  • A woman has been sentenced to a year of probation in connection with her baby daughter's death
  • The baby was found beside her intoxicated mother unresponsive and with puncture wounds 
  • Arizona ranks high in the nation for preventable child mortality 

A Tucson mother has been sentenced to one year of probation in the death of her infant daughter. Thirty-year-old Breanna Henson was sentenced by Pima County Superior Court almost exactly one year sincce she was arrested in January of 2019 when police found her intoxicated next to the body of her deceased infant daughter, Patricia.

The baby’s body was found with puncture wounds on it, that a previous police report said were caused by a dog. Henson told detectives that she woke up to find the baby unresponsive with significant trauma, according to a report from Tuscon.com. She was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse.

Last month, Henson pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment. On Monday, Judge Teresa Godoy designated the charge as a misdemeanor leading to one-year probation, said Krisanne LoGalbo, a Superior Court spokeswoman.

The incident is just the latest in an ongoing problem plaguing Arizona. Data gathered by Court-Appointed Special Advocates indicated that Arizona’s Child Abuse Hotline received 24,093 calls that met the statutory criteria for a DCS report. Substance use disorder plays a large part in the problem. In 46 percent of substance use-related deaths in 2019, children’s parents were reportedly substance users. That same year, 806 children under the age of 18 years died in Arizona.

Arizona also ranks highest in the nation for hot-car deaths or instances when infants are left in extreme conditions and succumb to fatality as a result. Maricopa County ranks highest in the state, followed by Pima, where Henson was tried and placed on probation. She was the only adult in the house at the time of her daughter’s death, and it was not specified whether or not Patricia had any additional family or whether or not the dog had been put down after attacking the infant.

handcuffs-3655288_640 Handcuffs Photo: Pixabay