Belen pleads not guilty to charges of neglecting a child

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Angelica Belen pleaded not guilty to three felony charges of neglecting a child (consequence is death) on Thursday, April 25th.

Belen was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on Thursday, but she waived her right to that hearing. The plea was entered immediately following that waiver.

Three of Belen’s four children died in a house fire at 77th and Hicks in West Allis on Thursday, April 11th. They are five-year-old Nayeli Colon, and twin four-year-old brothers, Alexis and Adrian Colon. They were huddled in a bedroom under a dresser. The children died from smoke inhalation and burns.

According to the criminal complaint against Belen, April 11th was her first day of work and she could not find a babysitter. The complaint indicates Belen “admitted that she locked the kids…in a bedroom. She locked the door from the outside with a deadbolt lock so the kids could not get out because she did not want them wrecking the house or going outside where the neighbors would see they were unattended and she would get into trouble. She said the only way the kids could get out of the bedroom was with a key and she was not sure where the key was.”

The complaint indicates Belen left the house at 3:49 p.m. on the day of the fire. She returned home at 7:15 p.m. The complaint said, “The defendant then told police that the children were in the house but that her sister…was watching the children.” Belen later admitted to police that she left the children home alone “while she went to work for three hours.”

If convicted of the charges, Belen faces up to 25-years in prison and $100,000 in fines. Belen is due back in court on Wednesday, May 8th.

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