Maple Grove woman who drove car into pond faces child neglect allegations
- Article by: Brandon Stahl
- Star Tribune
- July 3, 2014 - 10:02 AM
A Maple Grove woman who drove into a pond in November, killing two of the five children on board, is now accused of neglecting her severely injured daughter after the accident.
A hearing has been scheduled in juvenile court July 11 for Marion Guerrido, 23, after she denied Hennepin County’s accusations that she and the child’s father failed to provide food and medical care for her daughter, who turns 2 later this month.
The girl suffered brain and organ damage after she nearly drowned in the accident, and required a stomach tube for feeding at night and during naps, according to the county’s child protection petition. A Gillette Children’s doctor told the parents that the tube could be removed if the girl gained weight.
Instead, her weight dropped from 27 pounds in January to less than 23 pounds in May, when the Gillette doctor diagnosed the girl with failure to thrive, according to the petition. Guerrido, along with the child’s father, Julius Rennie, 25, told the doctor in February they were not using the tube for feedings, the petition said.
In April, the parents told a child protection investigator that the girl was eating enough by mouth and that they removed the tube, fearing that it had become infected. However, the parents did not seek out medical care for the infection concerns, and missed medical appointments and therapy sessions, the petition said. In May, the doctor recommended the parents see a dietitian who was familiar with the girl, but the dietitian said there was nothing she could do that “they have not already tried with the parents.”
Neither Rennie or Guerrido could be reached for comment. Their attorney, Rick Petry, declined to speak about the case Wednesday. But in a May interview, Petry said of the surviving children: “They’re all doing pretty well, and they’re back to playing and going to school and doing what they do.”
In a child in need of protection or services (CHIPS) case, a county must prove that a child is in danger and requires a court order for services to protect the child, which can include foster care. A judge has already placed the girl under the protective supervision of Hennepin County, allowing child protection to oversee the girl’s care while she still lives in their home.
“The Hennepin County attorney’s office is working with Ms. Guerrido’s attorney at a possible settlement,” county attorney spokesman Chuck Laszewski said Wednesday. “The parents have been in compliance with the CHIPS plan.”
According to the petition, Guerrido had a learner’s permit for only a month when she lost control of her car in November on a wet road in St. Louis Park. She veered off a ramp and into a pond. Five children were in the back seat of Guerrido’s Grand Am. Two died; Guerrido’s 7-year-old son, Alarious Coleman-Guerrido, and Rennie’s 5-year-old daughter, Zen’Avia.
After investigating the accident, Hennepin County child protection in January found Guerrido responsible for maltreatment and Rennie responsible for neglect. In March, the Hennepin County attorney’s office said they would not press felony charges against her. She was charged in May with three misdemeanors in relation to the accident. That case is pending.
Brandon Stahl • 612-673-4626
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