Boy dies in hot van, mom arraigned on murder charge

Boy dies in hot van, mom arraigned on murder charge

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) -

The mother of 2-year-old James Nelson, who authorities say died after being left inside a van, has been charged with the infant's murder.

Audrionna Rhoades, 21, of was arraigned Tuesday on child abuse and second-degree murder charges. A judge set a $500,000 bond for the Shelby Township woman. Prosecutors say Rhoades buckled Nelson into the seat of a van the morning of Sept. 3, then drove another vehicle to work. 9½ hours later a roommate discovered the boy and freed him, but he died soon after at a hospital.

Rhoades' mother, father and grandmother were all in the courtroom Tuesday, convinced of her innocence. Her grandmother believes a friend is responsible, but Shelby Twp. Police say they interviewed that particular friend and are not charging her.

If Rhoades is found guilty, she could spend the rest of her life in jail.

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