Citrus Co. mom of beaten 3-month-old arrested

Posted at 9:43 AM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-12 18:19:06-04

The 20-year-old mother of a severely beaten 3-month-old Citrus County baby has been arrested.

Valerie Ann Reed is now facing child abuse charges and is being held without bond.

Reed's 3-month-old daughter Abigail continues to fight for her life at an area hospital.  According to an arrest affidavit, the baby suffered bleeding on the brain.  She remains in critical condition because surgeons had to remove part of her skull in order to place a pressure monitor.

Brandon Lee Bennett, 19, has also been arrested on multiple drug charges.

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED | A Beverly Hills man accused of beating and choking a 3-month-old baby until she lost consciousness is facing new charges.

Skyler Bennett, the baby's father, is now facing multiple drug charges.

Citrus County deputies say they executed a search warrant at Bennett's home at 312 S. Washington April 28 and found a blank tent in the back bedroom which housed eight marijuana plants which were being grown hydroponically.

A large safe was found containing 2,066 grams of marijuana, $20,000 in cash and 2,482 grams of Promethazine syrup containing Codeine, an arrest affidavit states.

Deputies say inside the baby's room they found marijuana.

Bennett told deputies he lived at the home with his brother, the brother's baby and the baby's mother.

Three guns were also removed from the home, deputies say.

PRIOR COVERAGE | A 22-year-old Citrus County man is accused of repeatedly punching a 3-month-old baby in the face and choking her until she lost consciousness, deputies say.

Skyler Bennett, of Beverly Hills, is now facing aggravated child abuse charges.

He is being held without bond.

Deputies say the abuse took place over a period of several week and on April 28th resulted in the baby being flown to Shand's Hospital in Gainesville where she underwent emergency surgery.

The baby remains in critical condition.

A witness to the abuse told deputies Bennett beat the baby on several occasions by punching her in the face, slapping her and violently shaking her, an arrest affidavit states.

According to the witness, the morning of April 28, Bennett became angry and shook and choked the baby until the baby lost consciousness.

Deputies say Bennett beat the baby because she would not stop crying.

Bennett denied beating the child and claimed he dropped her, deputies say.

Bennett reportedly told deputies he was a "bad person" and "did not deserve to live," an arrest affidavit states.

Deputies say Bennett admitted he lost his tempter and has anger management issues.