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Mother: Devil told me to throw son down riverbank

A 25-year-old woman told a witness Saturday she threw her infant son down 50 feet of a river embankment because the devil told her to do it, according to court documents.

Destiny Ahenakew faces a charge of first-degree assault of a child after the incident, which was reported at 2430 W. Mission Ave. on Saturday around 2:30 p.m. A man working on a house watched Ahenakew bring her son into the house and ask for water, he told police. The worker asked Ahenakew to leave, and she took the boy to the back patio.

There, she knelt and began praying while reading from the Bible, the witness told police. Ahenakew stood up, grabbed the boy, and swung him in the air twice before releasing him over a fence and onto the embankment below. The child fell 50 feet before coming to rest against a pine tree, police said.

Ahenakew then returned to praying. She told police and the worker she threw the boy at the devil’s request. Another man was able to climb down to the child, who was transported to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center with injuries not thought to be life-threatening. The boy has been placed in protective custody, according to police.

Ahenakew’s arrest is her second in the past month, according to court records. On July 9, police took her into custody on suspicion she stole a Hyundai sedan from a Spokane used car lot. An employee identified Ahenakew as the woman who took the car with two men the day prior to her arrest, according to court records. She has no other felony criminal history and was released from jail without bond on the motor vehicle theft charge.

At the time of her arrest on the theft charge, she told police she had two children who lived with their dads in Airway Heights and Spokane. Court records show she was embroiled in a custody battle for her 4-year-old daughter after the father alleged she abandoned the girl in July 2011. Ahenakew countered in a statement to the court that the father was neglecting the girl, who was cared for by her grandmother in his stead.

“I want nothing more than to care for my little daughter and be the great mother every little girl deserves,” she wrote the court. The couple were sharing custody of the girl through last year, according to court documents.

Ahenakew failed to appear for a scheduled court hearing Aug. 5, and authorities prepared a warrant for her arrest that never went before a judge, Spokane County prosecutor Eugene Cruz said at a court appearance Monday.

Judge Gregory Sypolt set Ahenakew’s bond at a total of $70,000 for the child assault and vehicle theft charges. He also ordered her not to contact the boy or use drugs.