ALAMOSA — Apryl Behrens appeared in court via Webex on Monday related to criminal charges in the death of her son, Crashtyn Howell, on March 3, 2020. Born on November 18, 2019, Crashtyn Howell was just a few days shy of 16 months old at the time of his death.
Judge Martin Gonzales is presiding over the case.
At the opening of the proceedings, the attorney for the defense, Chip Cutler, stated that he had reached out to the District Attorney’s office to discuss mitigation in the case. DA Alonzo Payne, sitting in for Deputy District Attorney Alex Raines, said that his office would meet with the defense at the earliest convenience of both parties.
Behrens, along with Robert T. Howell II, was arrested and charged in connection with her son’s death in late March of 2020. She is currently facing one count of Murder in the First Degree, one count of Conspiracy to Commit Murder in the First Degree, two counts of Child Abuse Resulting in Death and one count of Accessory to a Crime.
The complaint, signed by previous DA Robert Willett on March 17, 2020, and filed with the Alamosa courts, states that, in relation to the charge of Murder in the First Degree, Behrens “unlawfully, feloniously, and knowingly caused the death of [Crashtyn Howell]”.
In relation to the charge of Child Abuse Resulting in Death, the complaint states that Behrens “unlawfully, feloniously, knowingly, or recklessly caused an injury to, or permitted to be unreasonably placed in a situation that posed a threat of injury to, the life or health of a child” and “engaged in a continued pattern of conduct that resulted in malnourishment, lack of proper medical care, cruel punishment, mistreatment, or an accumulation of injuries, that resulted in…death.”
In relation to the count of Accessory to a Crime, the complaint states “Behrens unlawfully and feloniously rendered assistance to Robert Howell II, with intent to hinder, delay, or prevent the discovery, detection, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of Robert Howell II for the commission of a crime, knowing that person was charged by pending information, indictment, or complaint with the crime of First Degree Murder.”
During court, both Cutler, for the defense, and Payne, prosecuting on behalf of the state, agreed to meet on April 21, 2021, to discuss the possibility of mitigation. Failing an agreement mutually agreed to by both, Behrens will presumably go to trial, which had been previously scheduled for July.
Apryl Behrens, who was released on bail on March 26, 2021, is scheduled to appear in court for a status conference on April 22, 2021, at 2:30 pm.
All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.