A 23-year-old mother is facing felony charges after she allegedly stabbed her toddler son during a domestic dispute, prosecutors said Thursday.
Michelle Betancourt was arrested Tuesday morning after authorities found her 3-year-old son had been stabbed at their Cudahy home Monday night.
While police booked Betancourt on suspicion of attempted murder, prosecutors on Thursday charged her in connection with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, a knife, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
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Betancourt's attorney asked a judge in court Thursday to wait before arraigning her so she could undergo a psychological evaluation.
"There was no intent to harm the child at all," defense attorney Bruce Karey said, adding that the mother is "in a very bad mental and emotional state."
Neighbors told NBC4 earlier this week that they heard screams and yelling, the mother running around while holding the boy, as her boyfriend, the child's father, screamed for someone to call 911.
"All of a sudden we just heard screaming and crying, and everybody was going crazy," neighbor Circe Marcel said. "The family, they came out. A mom, she was carrying her son, a 3-year-old, and she was crying. And the dad was on the phone calling the ambulance ... He was jumping up and down, terrified."
Another neighbor said the mother was screaming, "My baby's dying, my baby's dying," and "Please help me."
The toddler's sister, about 9 years old, mother and mother's boyfriend were at the home when the stabbing happened, detectives said. The boy was in critical condition as of Thursday.
The felony complaint filed Thursday includes a special allegation that Betancourt personally inflicted great bodily injury during the commission of the crime.
If Betancourt makes bail, she will have to stay at least 100 yards away from both her son and his father, and have no contact with either of them, Deputy District Attorney Efrain Aceves said.
If convicted, Betancourt faces up to 11 years in prison.