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Bond denied: Pregnant mom Chelsea Huggett accused of killing daughter Aliyah Branum

6:15 PM, May 3, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Bond denied: Pregnant mom accused of killing daughter

Inverness, Florida - The pregnant mother accused of slamming her daughter's head into a wall with such force that it left her with a fractured skull is not getting out of jail any time soon.

21-year-old Chelsea Huggett was dressed in a county jail outfit Friday morning, appearing in front of a judge to face a first degree murder and aggravated child abuse charge. Her bond was denied.

Meanwhile, back in the community where detectives say 2-year-old Aliyah Branum died, neighbors are stunned. Chelsea and her daughter lived at 1605 N. Julia Way in Hernando in Citrus County.

Irene Dranberg lives nearby and says, "It's just heart wrenching to know that that happened so close."

According to her confession, detectives say Chelsea admitted to shaking her daughter several times, smashing her head into a wall and head butting her because she wouldn't stop "whining."

Dranberg says, "If I would have known that was going on I would done anything in my power because children don't deserve that."

Nicholas Edmonds says he used to work with Chelsea selling knives. He says, "Me and her actually got hired on the same day."

He says he didn't get a good vibe about her. Edmonds adds, "I didn't really like her... she was a pill head."

Edmonds says she abused prescription drugs and some of his co-workers were so concerned about her alleged drug use especially while caring for a child that they reported it. 

He adds, "This other lady that we were working with, she ended up calling protective services on her."

10 News wanted to know went wrong and could Aliyah's death have been prevented. We also wanted to know what will happen to Chelsea's unborn child, since she's eight months pregnant and it's likely the baby will be born behind bars.

Carrie Hoeppner from the Department of Children and Families says,  "When she does give birth, Child Protective Services will be a very active party towards a decision regarding where the placement... and what the best placement will be for that infant."

Hoeppner admits there were two child protective investigations of Chelsea in August of last year and this past January. Hoeppner adds, "The preliminary reviews show that the investigators were not able to find signs of abuse, but any time you have an outcome such as this. You really have an obligation to fine-comb over those records. We're talking about a beautiful innocent 2-year-old little girl."

Two other children were living in the home with Chelsea and Aliyah. DCF has removed them and placed them with family so they can investigated whether or not they were abused.

Hoeppner says those children are not related to Chelsea and removing them is a standard procedure in these types of cases.

Tammie Fields, 10 News

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