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Baby’s body found wedged under driver’s seat

RICHMOND, Va. -- The mother of the Richmond infant found dead in a RV last fall was denied bond during a court hearing Tuesday.

Sabrina Malick, 29, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and felony child neglect in connection with her son Brendon Newton's death.

Brendon Newton

Brendon Newton

Malick cried in court Tuesday when the judge determined she was a flight risk and ordered her to remain in custody.

Sabrina and Brendon's father, Walter Newton, were both arrested and charged last week for their roles in Brendon's death.

Sabrina A. Malick and Walter E. Newton (PHOTO: Richmond Police

Sabrina A. Malick and Walter E. Newton (PHOTO: Richmond Police)

The seven-month-old boy was found unresponsive in the family's RV parked along Jeff Davis Highway last September. The child was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Sabrina Malick's attorney told the judge Malick left Brendon with his father Walter Newton while left for the day. The child was later found wedged between the driver's seat and a couch in the RV.

An investigation determined baby Brendon had been left alone for seven hours.

Linda Gonzales came to court Tuesday to support Sabrina. She said she was with her friend when she got the awful news.

"I could hear her talking on the phone and she was hysterical," Gonzales said. "When I asked what was going on, Sabrina said 'my baby's gone, my baby's gone.'"

Gonzales said she believed the murder charge was too harsh for the reality of the situation.

"Maybe child neglect because of the conditions they were staying in, but she tried her best," Gonzales said.

The Commonwealth's Attorney brought up Malick's history of drug use and noted she tested positive twice at two separate hearings for marijuana and cocaine.

Malick asked her attorney to request a jury trial for her case. Trial dates would be set at a hearing in April.

Last week, Sabrina Malick’s brother Galen Malick said he did not believe his sister intentionally hurt Brendon.

"We don’t really know who to believe and what to believe," Galen Malick said. "I don’t think it was to be harmful or anything, I just think it was neglect, she got busy doing something else."

A cousin of Walter Newton, who identified himself as Mark, told WTVR he owned the RV the couple was living in. He said Walter left Brendon and another child in the RV while he did some work at Mark's mechanic shop.

At some point, Walter checked on the children, and that is when he found Brendon had choked on something and had no pulse, Mark said. Walter then called 911.

"In this case when you have such a young child you don’t really have a back story," Gene Lepley, a spokesperson for the Richmond Police Department, said.

Lepley would not say if Mark’s story was correct, but he said it took six months to charge the couple because it took time to build a case.

"Justice sometimes grinds a little slow, but we believe we have a strong case in this case and we’ll move forward with it," Lepley said.

Mark said the other child in the RV with Brendon is now in the care of Child Protective Services.

Walter Newton did not appear in court during Tuesday's hearing.

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