Woman whose boyfriend fatally injured toddler son sentenced to probation
EL CAJON (KUSI) – An Alpine woman whose toddler son died from injuries inflicted by her live-boyfriend while she was at work was sentenced Tuesday to probation and ordered to complete a yearlong child abuse class after a judge reduced her felony child endangerment conviction to a misdemeanor.
Renee Fournier, 31, pleaded guilty in 2016 and agreed to cooperate with authorities and testify truthfully against her former boyfriend, Navy corpsman Brett Brown.
Brown, 32, was convicted last month of first-degree murder and assault on a child causing the death of 20-month-old Lucas Orlando.
Deputy District Attorney Chantal de Mauregne said Brown — on leave from the Navy — lied to Fournier and first responders on how the child was fatally injured on Jan. 11, 2016.
About 1:45 p.m. that day, deputies responding to an emergency call at Fournier’s apartment on Arnold Way found her son gravely injured, said sheriff’s Lt. Kenneth Nelson.
Brown told deputies Lucas had been hurt in a fall, the lieutenant said.
Brown had been watching Lucas that day along with Fournier’s other child and two of his own from a previous relationship, according to Nelson.
Paramedics took Lucas to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he died two days later.
Detectives investigating the death determined that the trauma the boy suffered was too severe to have occurred the way Brown described it, Nelson said, and Brown was arrested on Jan. 14, 2016.
The child suffered severe eye, brain and neck hemorrhages, skull fractures and a broken leg, according to de Mauregne.
Doctors testified that the child’s injuries had to have been caused by violent shaking and by deliberately striking the child’s head against a hard surface.
Brown testified he was carrying the boy and a plate of food when he slipped and fell on top of the toddler.
Brown faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 28.