FAIRFIELD (CBS13) — A Fairfield grandmother accused of drowning her 4-year-old grandson in court appeared in court for the first time on Thursday.
Dawn Raines-Hewes, 51, was formally charged with murder and child abuse causing death. She showed little emotion in court and had no family members in the courtroom to support her.
Judge Robert Fracchia did not allow cameras in the court after “learning the consequences of this case.”
Raines-Hewes was offered a public defender as Solano County deputy district attorney John Daugherty submitted a lengthy discovery, including the grandmother’s rap sheet. She was convicted of a DUI in 2006.
“If she were to get convicted of both she could only be punished on one,” Daugherty said of the new charges. “They’re in essence, alternative ways of saying the same thing. They’re equally as serious.”
Investigators say she was babysitting her daughter’s three children when neighbors heard Raines-Hewes screaming. Investigators say they found 4-year-old Richard Kite wet and unconscious in the hallway where they believe she moved him after he drowned. They say she confessed during questioning.
Daugherty says she still has the right to a fair trial.
“I know we often hear people saying, ‘Gosh I heard someone confessed; why court? Why bothering with this?’ he said. “Under our court, under our constitution, everyone has a right to plead not guilty and to force us to prove those charges.”
Her arraignment is set for Jan. 7. Prosecutors are still waiting on the autopsy. No motive has been given.