MIAMI – A woman charged in the death of her 11-month-old son was diagnosed with postpartum depression nine weeks after he was born, her attorney said Monday.
Lonnie Richardson asked a Miami-Dade Court Circuit judge to have Catalina Marista Bruno evaluated at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Bruno is being held on no bond after she was charged with aggravated manslaughter.
"When I first saw her, I saw someone very sick and in crisis," he said. "She is very depressed. I went to go visit her in jail. She is not stable. She is in really bad shape."
Richardson said doctors at Baptist Hospital of Miami gave her a month-long prescription of antidepressants. She then visited a clinic, where doctors again diagnosed her with postpartum depression but didn't prescribe her any more medication.
Prosecutors argued that if Bruno can pay for her attorneys, she can afford her medical treatment.
A judge denied Richardson's request.
"At some point, we may seek a bond for her, but right now I think the most important thing is that we seek help for her because she is someone that needs help," said Richardson.
Bruno's mother issued a statement Monday, saying: "It's a tragedy for everybody. My daughter suffered from depression after the baby was born, reached out for help and didn't get it. Now we're all trying to cope with the aftermath."
Police: Boy found unresponsive in car
Bruno placed her son, Bryan Miguel Osceola, in a child seat in the rear passenger side of the vehicle and drove home on Thursday, according to investigators. When she got home, she left Bryan in the car.
A while later, the boy's father, Amos Osceola, asked about the boy. Bruno then recalled leaving him inside the vehicle, police said.
Investigators said Osceola immediately ran outside and found Bryan unresponsive in the car seat. He took him to a nearby Miami-Dade Fire Rescue station for medical attention.
Byran was then taken to Kendall Regional Hospital. He had a body temperature of 109 degrees.
Bruno charged before
Bruno was out on bond for child neglect when she was arrested.
According to an arrest affidavit, in Nov. 2012, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper found Bruno passed out behind the wheel of her sport utility vehicle on Southwest 8th Street about seven miles west of Krome Avenue. The SUV was still in gear, reported the arresting officer, and her then 5-month-old boy was found face down between the front seats. The boy was uninjured in the incident and released to Bruno's sister.
Bruno was charged with child neglect, driving under the influence while accompanied by a minor, and a seat restraint violation. Since 2007, she has also been arrested for battery, cocaine possession, and driving on a suspended license.
During her bond hearing Saturday, the judge ruled Bruno have no contact with her 10-year-old and 4-year-old children, who were in custody of their father.
In July 2012, one month after Bryan was born, Bruno and Osceola got into an argument, according to police records. Osceola appeared drunk, pushed her against a wall, and began hitting her. Police arrested him and charged him with battery.