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Prosecution makes case against woman accused of child neglect resulting in death

BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) The prosecution continued its case in Raleigh County on Wednesday against a woman accused of rolling over and suffocating her baby after a night of drinking.

Ariel Bennett is on trial for the death of her 5-month old baby. She is charged with Child Neglect Resulting in Death and two counts of Gross Child Neglect with Risk of Serious Injury or Death.

Detectives said Bennett fell unconscious on the night of November 7, 2015 and rolled over onto her infant. The baby a short time later at the hospital.

On Wednesday, Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller played the interrogation tape of Bennett, in which she struggled to answer questions by Det. Sgt. Morgan Bragg.

"I guess I rolled over on her," said Bennett in the tape. When asked whether there was anything she did to contribute to the child suffocating, Bennett said "I was drinking."

Keller previously offered Bennett a deal to plead guilty to Child Neglect Resulting in Death with no agreement at sentencing, which she declined. That charge alone carries a potential prison sentence of 3-15 years in prison.

Testimony is expected to continue through Thursday.

Annie Moore

Multimedia Journalist

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