Friend Of Mother Whose Kids Drowned Faces Child Endangerment Charge

Posted By Attorney Robert M. Bernstein || 23-May-2013

A 44-year old man with criminal convictions for burglary who is living in a home in La Mesa where two children drowned was charged Wednesday with felony counts of child endangerment and drug possession. Larry Dangelo is charged with running a marijuana cultivation operation while two children were living in the home. The home has a backyard swimming pool without a fence around it.

Two-year-old Jason Bradford and his sister, 1-year-old Harley, died Monday after being pulled unconscious and unresponsive from the pool. No decision has been made on whether the children's mother, identified as Tassie Ann Behrens, 26, should face charges, officials said. Bail for Dangelo was set in San Diego Superior Court in El Cajon at $50,000 and a readiness hearing has been scheduled for May 24.

Dangelo was arrested several hours after the sheriff's investigators went to the La Mesa home and found the marijuana cultivation operation of 60-plus plants in the basement. The children's mother said she had been asleep and awoke about 9:45 a.m. Monday to find the children in the pool, floating and unresponsive. She and a friend rushed them to a nearby fire station, where paramedics attempted to revive them.

The girl was pronounced dead at Sharp Grossmont Hospital, and the boy was taken to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, where he died later that night. The mother explained she did not want to get her friend into trouble by telling the investigators that she found the children in the backyard pool instead of the community swimming pool. Along with child endangerment, Dangelo faces charges of manufacturing and possession of a controlled substance, grand theft, and tampering with electric lines. If convicted of all counts, he could face a maximum of 11 years and 8 months in prison.

If you, or someone you know has been charged with child endangerment, grand theft, possession of a controlled substance, manufacturing of a controlled substance or any other type of drug crime, it is important to hire a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who knows the law and has the experience to fight the charges against you.

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