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Woman Accused of Drowning 4-Year-Old Grandson Appears in Court

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FAIRFIELD --

Dawn Raines-Hewes walked into a Fairfield courtroom Thursday wearing a dark green padded vest -- a safety precaution after she was booked into the Solano County Jail and placed on suicide watch.

Fairfield police arrested her Tuesday. She is accused of murdering her 4-year-old grandson, Richard Kite.

Investigators say she confessed to drowning him in the bathtub.

In court Thursday afternoon, she did not enter a plea.

Chief Deputy District Attorney John Daugherty filed two charges -- murder and child abuse causing death.

Both are punishable by a life sentence.

So, does the fact that detectives say she already confessed to the crime have any bearing on her case?

"I know we often hear people saying, 'gosh I heard somebody confessed, why are we going to court? Why are we even bothering with this?' Under our Constitution, everybody's whose charged with a crime has an absolute right to plead not guilty, and to force us to prove those charges, and we'll be standing there willing to do that," Daugherty said.

He said they also have a partial report of a mental health case regarding Raines-Hewes that his office is checking into.

She will be back in court January 7, 2016.