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Chili powder poisoning: Woman pleads not guilty to murder of toddler

January 10, 2013 |  2:48 pm

An Apple Valley woman accused of fatally poisoning her boyfriend’s 2-year-old toddler with chili powder pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder, a prosecutor said.

Amanda Sorensen, 21, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and child abuse causing death. She appeared in court Thursday, said Kathleen DiDonato, a deputy district attorney. DiDonato declined to talk about the specifics of the case.

Sorensen was arrested early Monday morning. She is being held at the West Valley Detention Center.

Authorities were called to the 20000 block of Cayuga Road in Apple Valley on a report of a child suffering from a seizure after ingesting chili powder. The toddler died at a hospital, deputies said.

Relatives of the toddler told the Victor Valley Press they were in “shock,” after the incident.

“Right now, the family is trying to gather as much community support as possible after what happened,” said Christina Laliberte. “Any community support is appreciated, whether donations or even keeping us in your prayers."

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Det. Rob Trostle or Sgt. Rick Bessinger at (909) 387-3589. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME.

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-- Nicole Santa Cruz

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