Lufkin mom whose daughter drowned in 2013 back in jail 2 weeks after plea deal

Lufkin mom whose daughter drowned in 2013 back in jail 2 weeks after plea deal
Amarie Rodriguez (Source: Donna Sanders Jaquette)
Amarie Rodriguez (Source: Donna Sanders Jaquette)
Ayden Bentley (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Ayden Bentley (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - About two weeks after she agreed to a probated sentence via a plea bargain deal, the Lufkin mother whose negligence resulted in the drowning death of her 20-month-old daughter in October 2013 is back in jail.

Crystal Rodriguez, 27, was booked back into the Angelina County Jail Monday because a judge signed an "order of surrender" after she tested positive for heroin and methamphetamine.

Court records show that Rodriguez pleaded guilty to two felony injury to a child charges on Aug. 30. As part of the plea bargain deal, she accepted a 10-year probated sentence for one charge and a 5-tear probated sentence for the second one. She would have served her probation terms concurrently, or at the same time.

According to Angelina County District Attorney Joe Martin, it wasn't clear how much responsibility Rodriguez had in the incident. Her boyfriend said they had been sleeping, and he woke up and decided to go to the store. The boyfriend told Rodriguez to watch the kids, Martin said.

The boyfriend said when he came back, he found the door ajar and the kids floating in the pool, and he screamed at her to wake up.
Rodriguez denied that her boyfriend had woken her up before he left, Martin said.

Martin said they agreed on deferred adjudication because the evidence made it tough to convict her for more, but if she violated her terms, they could put her in prison for up to 10 years.

When asked what the next step is for Rodriguez, Dustin Fore, a supervisor with Angelina County's Adult Probation Department, said they have not made a decision on her yet.

"We are in the process of conducting a risk assessment to determine our next course of action," Fore said. "The assessment assists in determining if treatment is appropriate and if so, what type of treatment is needed."

According to the text of Rodriguez' indictment, she caused serious bodily injury to Amarie Rodriguez, her daughter, because she fell asleep and failed to supervise the toddler correctly. The second injury to a child charge stemmed from the fact that 2-year-old Ayden Bentley almost drowned in the same incident.

Amarie and Ayden were both found floating in a private pool at a home in the 2000 block of Allentown Loop on Oct. 12, 2013, according to Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches. Caleb Bentley, who is Ayden's father, called 911 just before 11 p.m. that night, Sanches said.

"The kids got out of their parents' sight, and Bentley, Ayden's father, discovered them," Sanches said. 'It's undetermined how long the kids were in the pool."

Both children were taken to a Lufkin hospital and later airlifted by helicopter to a Houston hospital. Amarie died at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, according to hospital officials. Ayden survived.

Donna Sanders Jaquette, Amerie's great aunt said in October 2013 that the baby's family has been devastated by Amarie's loss. Jaquette said Rodriguez decided to donate her baby's organs, so that other children will have a chance to live.

The case was investigated by the Angelina County Sheriff's Office and Child Protective Services.

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