NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – A Hamden woman and her brother have pleaded not guilty in the death of a friend’s toddler who authorities say died of dehydration after being deprived of fluids for at least a week as punishment for bed wetting.

Sharon and Robert Patterson made brief appearances in New Haven Superior Court on Tuesday. Their cases were continued to May 12. Both remain jailed on bond.

Hamden police say 23-month-old Amari Jackson died of dehydration in February while in the care of 39-year-old Sharon Patterson and 31-year-old Robert Patterson.

Sharon Patterson is charged with manslaughter, cruelty to persons and risk of injury to a minor. Robert Patterson is charged with cruelty to persons and risk of injury to a minor.

The boy’s mother, Sara Hicks, has said her friends were caring for him while she was sick with a fever and tending to her 8-month-old daughter.


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