Attorney for babysitter charged in Lancaster baby's death says dog attacked child

LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- A babysitter accused of killing a 5-month-old baby boy at a Lancaster home last month made her first appearance in court Friday morning.

Prosecutors say Brittany Ann Ingrassi, 30, killed Aiden Lopez on March 22.

Ingrassi was the long-time friend of Aiden's father, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities said the child suffered serious head trauma and bruising to the upper torso.

Investigators say Aiden's parents had gone to work and left him with Ingrassi who had been working as their babysitter for about eight weeks.

"There are scratches on the baby that could be consistent with that of a dog attack," defense attorney Nancy Mazza said.

In court, Mazza claimed that the family dog attacked the child during the moments when Ingrassi went to the restroom.

"There was a sudden random dog attack, where this dog viciously pounced on the baby, on Aiden from the couch, landed on the baby, which can cause blunt force trauma and then started moving the baby violently around, holding on to it," she said. "Brittany Ingrassi, in fact, has dog bites. She has a dog bite on her hand."

The prosecution, however, disagrees.

"I'm not going to comment on the evidence in the case, but there are photographs of the baby, of the baby's injuries, and there is no evidence consistent with their theory," district attorney Keri Knittel said.

Ingrassi's family and friends attended Friday morning's court hearing and provided photos of Ingrassi. They say she would not harm anyone, especially a child.

"It's been a total nightmare. It's real emotional that they even can accuse her of something that she's incapable of doing," Ingrassi's father, Joe, said.

She has been charged with murder and assault on a child causing death. If convicted, she faces 25 years to life in state prison.
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