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Court appearance for La Mesa couple accused in infant son's death

Posted at 12:23 PM, Aug 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 16:18:28-04

EL CAJON, Calif. (KGTV) – A La Mesa couple accused in the death of their 7-month-old son appeared in an El Cajon courtroom Friday.

A hearing was held to determine future court proceedings for Joel Brownell, 28, and 30-year-old Jalena Rodriguez; both face murder, assault and felony child abuse charges in connection with the death of baby Joel.

According to a woman who knows Brownell and Rodriguez, the infant boy was taken to the El Cajon Family Health Center with injuries on Aug. 17.

RELATED: Parents arrested in death of 8-month-old boy in La Mesa

It was determined that the baby had knuckle marks on his forehead and arrived at the hospital with a swollen brain. Court documents stated young Joel also had a dislocated arm and leg.

La Mesa police said the boy was then transferred to Rady Children’s Hospital due to “several suspicious injuries.”

Brownell and Rodriguez were arrested on Aug. 18, and the boy passed away from his injuries on Aug. 19.

Bail was set at $2 million for Brownell and Rodriguez. Both have a history of multiple criminal charges.