The parents of a Marina boy who died last October are fighting extradition in Washington state but authorities expect them to face felony neglect charges in Monterey County in connection with the death, a police commander said today. Brandon Kenney, 33, and Christina Kenney, 31, were arrested April 15 at their home in Tacoma, Wash., on suspicion of felony child neglect in the death of their 19-month-old son Brandon Kenney Jr., Marina police Cmdr. Bob Nolan said.
The toddler died in Marina on Oct. 8 after being treated at Stanford Hospital. The Kenneys moved to Tacoma afterward while police continued to investigate the child’s demise with the county coroner’s office, Nolan said. Following a six-month investigation, police concluded that the Kenneys were negligent in permitting the boy to be exposed to a “substance,” the nature of which Nolan declined to describe. “This is not an accidental death, it was something that could have been prevented,” Nolan said. “The child is their responsibility to take care of and they didn’t do that,” he said.
While the couple is still in Washington fighting extradition, authorities in Monterey County do not believe the pair has much of a case to block their return, Nolan said. “They don’t want to come back here and face charges but we are very confident they will be back in 60 to 90 days,” Nolan said. The county plans to file charges against them of felony neglect for failure to take care of the child, Nolan said. According to a fundraising page on the website GoFundMe.com, friends of Christina Kenney, described as a former member of the U.S. Marines, asked the public for donations to pay for her son’s funeral costs on Oct. 11, 2013. “(C)hristina’s friends and fellow marines are uniting to raise money to help give (C)hristina’s son a burial he deserves,” the donation request reads.
Brandon Jr. died “unexpectedly after a tragic accident that caused swelling of the brain causing the body to stop functioning,” according to the page. Christina Kenney is a veteran Marine who was deployed to the war in Afghanistan and was also stationed in Japan and North Carolina, according to the site. The page, which included color photos of Brandon Jr., had raised $997 toward a goal of $2,500 in the past six months. Brandon and Christine Kenney are being held at the Pierce County Jail in Tacoma.
Brandon’s bail is set at $500,000 on the warrant from Monterey County. He is also being held on $2,000 bail for a bench warrant for failing to appear on a charge of possessing less than 40 grams of marijuana, according to jail records. Christine Kenney’s bail on the warrant is $480,000 and she is also being held for failing to appear to address a DUI charge and driving while her license was suspended or revoked.
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