Foster Parents Charged with Manslaughter in Death of 4-Year-Old Ayana Bennet

Foster Parents Charged with Manslaughter in Death of 4-Year-Old Ayana Bennet

Denver Plett and Lena Plett are facing manslaughter charges after a post-mortem confirmed that 4-year-old, Ayana Bennet sustained blunt force trauma, subsequently leading to her death.  Last Friday, the child passed away hours after being lashed with a belt, by her foster parents, for not identifying a colour correctly.  The Spanish Lookout couple was initially charged with aggravated assault, but saw that charge upgraded to manslaughter earlier today.  The child’s tragic death has sparked outrage among many, including her biological family who are calling for murder charges. Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa says that the Director of Public Prosecutions made the decision based on evidence and weighed in on the heart-wrenching loss of baby Ayana. 

Kareem Musa, Minister Home Affairs and New Growth Industries: “This is such a tragic loss. We’re out here mourning the death of 6,000 children in Palestine but we had the loss of a very young, beautiful four year old Belizean Ayana Bennett last night and the circumstances seem to  be one of very serious concern and so I can only say that it is left in the hands of the DPP that is not for the Minister or the Police to charge. That is dependent on the DPP’s decision and we have to be guided by that but we of course extend our condolences to the baby’s family.”

Vejea Alvarez, Love News: Moments ago they were charged with manslaughter, your thoughts on that ? I know you said it was left up to the DPP but if it were you would you want more ? 

Kareem Musa, Minister Home Affairs and New Growth Industries: “Of course Vejea. We cannot say what happened in the circumstances whether it was intentional or whether it was out of negligence but at the same time it does raise a lot of eyebrows. It has generated incredible shock and outrage collectively amongst Belizeans to see something like this happen and so we definitely will dig further into it and if there is some intention there then they should definitely be charged for murder.”

The couple was arraigned this morning in the San Ignacio Magistrates’ Court.

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