Probation in death of girl, 12

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

HUDSON — Steven Bennett and Heidi Tranberg-Bennett of Austerlitz were sentenced Thursday afternoon to three years probation and 50 hours of community service in the death of their 12-year-old daughter in 2019.

Cesar Ryan Torres, Venuska Tranberg-Bennett, Svenia Tranberg-Bennett, Tevania Tranberg-Bennett, and Petrevena Tranberg-Bennett, all members of the Austerlitz family, pleaded guilty Dec. 18 to endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor, in relation to the 2019 death of the child. They were also sentenced Thursday in Hudson City Court.

The family’s 12-year-old child was pronounced dead Dec. 6, 2019. Three days earlier 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 her but were unsuccessful.

The child had been showing symptoms of pneumonia and end-stage kidney disease, according to court papers.

Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka has stated all of the defendants admitted they were responsible for the care of the child at all relevant times; that they all became aware of her illness and progressive symptoms, including, ultimately, swelling of her feet, legs and abdomen; and that they did not timely contact emergency personnel or take the child to a doctor or hospital.

The family was initially arraigned on a charge of second-degree manslaughter, a class C felony, in connection with the death of the child. They had pleaded not guilty.

Check back for more on this developing story.

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