Mother Accused of Drowning Autistic Son Appears in Court for New Judge in a Shocking Criminal Case

Miami, Florida – Patricia Ripley, the mother who admitted to leading her autistic son into a canal and drowning him in 2020, appeared in court on Thursday to request a new judge for her criminal case. Associate Administrative Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez has been assigned to preside over Ripley’s case. Ripley, aged 48, is facing charges that include first-degree murder, kidnapping, child abuse with great bodily harm, and attempted murder in the death of her 9-year-old non-verbal son, Alejandro, who had autism.

According to authorities, Ripley took her son to a lake behind a housing complex in May 2020 and attempted to leave him in the water to drown. Video footage confirmed that Ripley pushed her son into the water and abandoned him there alone. Witnesses reported the incident and a person jumped into the lake to rescue the young boy. However, Ripley managed to kill her son later that evening at a golf course canal, where authorities discovered his body on May 22nd.

Ripley initially concocted a false story but later admitted to leading her son into the canal, stating that he would be in a better place. The trial, scheduled to take place in 2025, is eagerly anticipated by Judge Mendez. Prosecutors have indicated that the death penalty is currently being considered in this case.

Ripley’s next status hearing is scheduled for February 21st.

In summary, Patricia Ripley, a Miami-Dade mother, pleaded guilty to leading her autistic son into a canal and causing his death. She now awaits trial under the oversight of Associate Administrative Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez. Prosecutors have expressed the possibility of seeking the death penalty for Ripley. Her next court appearance is scheduled for February 21st.