LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A 23-year-old woman was charged Thursday for allegedly stabbing her toddler son during a domestic dispute with the boy’s father in Cudahy.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Michelle Betancourt, of Cudahy, was charged with two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon, a knife.
Betancourt also faces a special allegation that she personally inflicted great bodily injury during the commission of the crime, the district attorney’s office added.
Her lawyer asked that the arraignment be postponed while Bettancourt received a psychological exam.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were sent around 8:39 p.m. on Monday to a rescue call in the 3800 block of Walnut Street.
Upon their arrival, authorities located a 3-year-old boy suffering from an apparent stab wound to his upper torso area.
Paramedics transported the toddler to a hospital for treatment where he was listed in grave condition. He is now listed in critical condition, according to KCAL9’s Randy Paige.
“My understanding, what I am hearing,” said defense attorney Bruce Karey, “is that he is improving, thank God.”
Karey also believes the facts in the case will prove Betancourt had no intention of harming the child.
Detectives interviewed the victim’s parents and 9-year-old sister at the scene.
Authorities subsequently arrested Betancourt after suspecting that she intentionally stabbed her son. She also allegedly assaulted her boyfriend during the alleged attack — he was not injured.
She was being held on $1 million bail at the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station for attempted murder.
The DA and defense attorney both agreed that assault with a deadly weapon was a more appropriate charge than attempted murder.
“The facts dictate that this is an assault with a deadly weapon,” said prosecutor Efrain Aceves, “based on what happened and based on the injuries we have at the current time.”
Authorities said the father has been cooperating with officials.
Bail was set at $90,000 Thursday but Betancourt’s attorney says it is likely she will remain in custody while she receives a psychological evaluation.
If convicted, Betancourt faces a possible sentence of 11 years in state prison.