Miami Mother Who Drowned Autistic Son Now Faces Death Penalty

The mother, who was recorded throwing her autistic son into a canal twice, drowning him, is now facing the death penalty.

Back on May 21, Patricia Ripley was caught on camera taking her 9-year-old autistic son, Alejandro Ripley, into a canal in Miami and drowning him after she pushed him in. The woman’s grand jury meeting was postponed due to COVID-19, but after several months in hiatus, a Miami Grand jury decided this week to indict Ripley for first-degree murder. The Miami Herald reports that prosecutors said they would be looking into pursuing execution as punishment on Thursday during a court hearing.

The outlet reports that Ripley is accused of murdering her son, who suffered from autism and could not speak. According to David Ovalle of the Miami Herald, she is charged with a slew of other felonies and will be jailed until her trial

The woman pushed her son into a canal, left him, and a bystander eventually came to try and save him. The mother then took her son back to a different read of the canal and left him to drown again. After that, she called the police and lied, claiming two Black men took her son after running her off the road near a West Kendall Home Depot. Police then issued an Amber Alert, but the boy’s body was found the next day in a canal near the Miccosukee Golf & Country Club. The location was about four miles away from where Ripley claimed the abduction took place.

When police confronted her, she admitted that she made up the kidnapping story, police said. She told authorities that she led him to the canal and said, “he’s going to be in a better place,” according to a report. Ripley now faces capital punishment, and because of that, she did not appear in Thursday’s brief court hearing. Another hearing is set for next week.

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