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Thursday, October 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Chattaroy woman pleads not guilty in 5-year-old’s death

Cynthia L. Khaleel pleaded not guilty Wednesday to allegations that she killed her nephew, 5-year-old Gary Blanton III.

The Chattaroy woman’s bond was set at $100,000 when Khaleel was arrested earlier this month on a charge of second-degree murder but that amount later was lowered to $50,000, which she posted. She was ordered not to have contact with her three biological children, but her attorney, Bevan Maxey, asked Wednesday that the restriction be lifted.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Stefanie Collins said the state objected to anything but monitored contact with the children, who are witnesses.

“She may try to implicate them in the death of young Gary,” Collins said.

Blanton’s siblings have since been taken in by other relatives.

Police were called by a hospital employee after Khaleel, 28, took Blanton to the emergency room in April, claiming he had fallen out of bed. The employee told police that the child’s severe head injury likely was not an accident. He also had bruising on his body and an autopsy revealed internal injuries in the boy’s abdomen, court records say.

Khaleel had taken in Blanton and his two siblings after they were orphaned. Blanton had previously shown up at school with injuries and Khaleel had been reported to Child Protective Services.

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