More charges against mom accused in death of toddler son mauled - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

More charges against mom accused in death of toddler son mauled by family dog

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    A San Diego woman whose 2-year-old son was mauled to death by the family's German shepherd has pleaded not guilty to child endangerment. 
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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Prosecutors filed three additional child endangerment charges Thursday against a woman accused in the death of her 2-year-old son, who was mauled by the family dog last July.

Valerie Grace Carlson faces 23 years and four months if convicted in the death of her son Aaron.

The 29-year-old mother of four is charged with 11 felony and four misdemeanor counts of child endangerment.

At a brief hearing Thursday, Judge Jeffrey Fraser rejected a defense request that Carlson be allowed to have contact with her children.

A July 11 preliminary hearing is set for the defendant, who is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

According to a declaration in support of an arrest warrant, paramedics were called to the family home in Tierrasanta last July 31 at 11:33 a.m.

Aaron Carlson, the defendant's youngest child, was rushed to Rady Children's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

San Diego police Detective Cindy Brady wrote in the declaration that the left side of the boy's face had been torn off and he had no skin in the middle of his face. The child's nose and cartilage were gone, the detective wrote.

The victim's three siblings were in the home at the time and their father was away on deployment, according to the detective.

According to the declaration, Valerie Carlson told detectives she had a friend visit her home the night before and drank four to five Jim Beam bourbon and Coke drinks, starting about 9:30 p.m.

Carlson said she normally put the dog, a German shepherd named Zeus, in a crate at night, but on that night didn't feel like it, according to the declaration.

The defendant said she fell asleep on the couch and remembered her 7-year-old daughter telling her that Aaron had been hurt, but she didn't check on him, the detective wrote in the declaration.

The next thing Carlson knew, a neighbor was at her home and they found the toddler face-down upstairs, according to the declaration. After that, the defendant said everything was a "blur."

She told detectives, "It's all my fault. I wish I could give you more information. I was drinking last night and I'm kind of hung over," Brady wrote in her declaration.

Carlson told detectives that she takes Sertaline to treat an obsessive compulsive disorder for pulling out hair but had not taken the medication on the day of the attack nor two days prior.

Warning labels on a container of Sertaline found in the kitchen advised that alcohol should not be consumed when taking the medication. An additional warning advised the medication may cause drowsiness and that alcohol may intensify that effect, according to Brady.

According to the declaration, Carlson said the child had gotten pretty dirty by smearing peanut butter and jelly all over himself, but was not bathed before she put him to bed around 10 p.m.

Carlson said she locked Aaron in his room so his older brother wouldn't bother him, the detective wrote.

Justin Carlson, the defendant's husband, told a social worker that Zeus was "skittish, shy and tentative" toward him and "really hyper with the children," according to the declaration.

The defendant admitted to a social worker that she had passed out from drinking before, too many times for her to remember, the declaration says.

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