MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An attorney for the South Florida mother, who was charged in the death of her infant son after he was left for hours in a hot car, said his client is sick and needs help.
Catalina Bruno, charged with aggravated manslaughter on a child under 18, was held without bond after appearing before a judge Saturday morning.
During a bond review hearing in front of a different judge on Monday, lawyers waived her need to appear before the judge. Her attorney also asked the judge for help.
“She is someone who needs help. Unfortunately she’s been painted as a monster, but really, she’s very sick and she is a good mother,” said defense attorney Lonnie Richardson.
Bruno’s attorneys are worried about her mental health. They say she suffers from post-partum depression after giving birth last year.
“I would ask this court, not necessarily for bond, but I would ask this court for now, is to have her evaluated at Jackson,” said Richardson told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Samantha Ruiz-Cohen.
Bruno’s attorneys said she could no longer afford the medication to treat her depression and asked for the state to pay for an evaluation.
“I’m going to deny your request to appoint any doctors because she has not been declared indigent,” said Circuit Judge Ruiz-Cohen.
In an interview with CBS4’s Maggie Newland Bruno’s ex-husband, Anand Lakhram, said he “never saw this coming.” Lakhram also said that he and Bruno have two kids together, a 10 year-old boy and a nearly five year-old girl.
“She was a good mother and that’s all I can say. She’s always taken care of my children. I’ve seen the little boy and it’s a great tragedy my heart goes out to the family,” he told Newland.
Lakhram came by the house Monday afternoon with his kids to pick up their things. He said the children are having a difficult time dealing with the loss of their baby brother. He also said Bruno had suffered from depression for years. “She was depressed. She was depressed for a long time.”
Miami-Dade police arrested Bruno at her home at 1071 SW 150 place in West Miami-Dade last Thursday afternoon.
Bruno, according to Miami-Dade County Police, put her 11 month old son in a car seat and drove home. Upon arriving home, she got out of the car, left the infant inside the vehicle and went into the house.
Police said Bruno was inside for “an undetermined amount of time,” but that the father, Amos Osceola, would later ask where the child was.
At that point, Bruno said she had not taken the infant out of the car and that he was still in the car.
Police said Osceola ran to the car and found the baby unresponsive and still in the car seat. Osceola pulled the child out of the car and ran him to a nearby fire station.
When police questioned Bruno about what happened, she reportedly confessed to leaving her son in the car.
Bruno’s arrest came months after a previous arrest on a child neglect charge. She was on pre-trial release when her son died.
Bruno’s attorney said their focus at this time isn’t on getting her out of jail, but rather getting her treatment.
“She’s very depressed. I went to visit her in jail. She’s not stable. She’s in really bad shape,” said Richardson.
Bruno’s arraignment is scheduled for June 7th.