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Brooklyn mom who left baby to burn to death back in court on assault charges

November 9, 2017 By Paul Frangipane Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A hearing was held at Brooklyn Supreme Court to argue new charges against a mother guilty of leaving her baby girl to die in a fire. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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A 22-year-old Brooklyn mother who previously pleaded guilty to going to work while her 2-year-old daughter died alone in a house fire was back in court on Thursday as she continued to fight separate assault charges.

Since her Oct. 2016 guilty plea to criminally negligent homicide at Brooklyn Supreme Court, Leila Aquino’s sentence has been pushed back 13 times due to newer charges.

Her criminal history began on Feb. 23, 2016, when she left her baby girl inside her Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment to go to work at a Queens strip club. When she came back, the house was charred and her baby was dead, according to court documents.

Aquino is now fighting charges of an alleged assault in Brownsville that occurred while she was out on bail. Defense attorney Jacqueline Caruana argued in a hearing before Supreme Court Justice Deborah Dowling on Thursday that the arrest was unwarranted.

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An arresting officer from the alleged March 5 assault testified that she heard two girls screaming at 904 Thomas Boyland St. before she saw one woman “profusely bleeding from her forehead.”  

The victim said that Aquino, who was arrested on the scene, cut her with a knife sharpener, but Caruana argued that Aquino was assaulted first.

“There was no investigation done in regards to whether they were telling the truth,” Caruana said about the two women.

Caruana said the assault case is likely to go to trial.

Dowling pushed back a decision on the case to Dec. 20.

While Aquino can be sentenced to up to four years on those charges, she faces more assault charges for allegedly attacking a Rikers Island jail guard on June 30, 2017.

Prosecutors agreed to three years of probation if she completed a program with the Women’s Prison Association, but her new charges violated those terms, the Daily News reported.

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