Couple pleads not guilty in girl’s death

Steven Bennett and Heidi Tranberg-Bennett hold hands during the arraignment. Lance Wheeler/ For Columbia-Greene Media

AUSTERLITZ — Steven Bennett and Heidi Tranberg-Bennett of Austerlitz were charged by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and arraigned Monday in Columbia County Court on a charge of second-degree manslaughter, a class C felony, in the death of a 12-year-old child.

Bennett and Tranberg-Bennett failed to seek and obtain timely medical care for the child, who had been showing symptoms of pneumonia and end-stage kidney disease, including swollen legs and swollen abdomen, according to court papers.

The symptoms grew worse over the period of at least one week and the child died last Dec. 6.

The child was taken by ambulance from her home on Route 9 in Austerlitz last Dec. 5. She was found unresponsive by emergency medical technicians with the Chatham Rescue Squad.

The girl was brought from her home to Columbia Memorial Health in Hudson and was then transferred to Albany Medical Center.

Doctors and nurses attempted to revive the girl but were unsuccessful.

Physicians at Albany Medical Center pronounced the child dead on Dec. 6, according to court documents.

Bennett and Tranberg-Bennett were released from court Monday on their own recognizance.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the case. Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka said the investigation is ongoing.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

(2) comments

John Bell

Those charges are bogus, which is be clewrly proven. The county needs to return all of their kids now. All of their children have severly declined in health an funtionality since CPS possesed them. It is all proven on their FB page "Tranberg Bennet Family" God bless this family for enduring such torture and abuse at the hands of Columbia County.

Liz D

Wait....charged with 2nd degree manslaughter, a Class C felony.....and they were not jailed?

What is going on with the judicial system?

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