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EL CAJON, Calif. — A woman whose two toddlers drowned in a swimming pool at a friend’s home near Mt. Helix while she slept pleaded guilty Monday to a pair of felony child endangerment charges.

Harley_and_JasonBradfordTassie Anne Behrens, 28, faces a sentence that could range from probation on the low end to a maximum of seven years and four months in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Behrens’ friend, 45-year-old Larry Dangelo, pleaded guilty to manufacturing of honey oil — or hash oil — and will be sentenced to five years in prison on Sept. 23.

Sheriff’s Detective Norman Hubbert testified last year that Behrens first told him the tragedy took place at a mobile home park in Spring Valley. But when he told her that deputies went to the house at 10011 Sunset Ave. rented by Dangelo, she conceded that was where the tragedy had occurred.

During a search, deputies found about five dozen marijuana plants in the basement.

According to the detective, Behrens took her son, Jason Bradford Jr., 2 years and 9 months old, and daughter Harley Bradford, 16 months, swimming the night of May 12, 2013. She said they all went to bed around 9 p.m. — the children on a couch and she in a bedroom with Dangelo.

Hubbert testified that Behrens told him that she saw her children on the couch when she used the restroom around 4 a.m., but four hours later, Jason came in and asked about Harley’s whereabouts. Behrens told the detective she fell back asleep, and neither child was around when she woke up.

“She went out to the back patio that overlooks the back yard and saw the children face-down in the pool,” Hubbert said.

Behrens ran down screaming to the pool and pulled them out, and the children were rushed to Grossmont Hospital, where Harley was pronounced dead. Jason was transferred to Rady Children’s Hospital, but he also died.

Carter “Corky” Bennett, who lived in a motorhome on Dangelo’s property, testified that he introduced Behrens, whom he’d known for eight or nine years, to Dangelo when she needed a place to stay and “they hit it off.”

Bennett said she’d been staying at the house for about two weeks before the children drowned. He also said Dangelo played with the children and “paid attention to them.”

Hubbert said Behrens told him she stayed at Dangelo’s residence “on-and- off” for about one week before her children’s death.

“She considered them girlfriend-boyfriend, but it was not official,” the detective said.

Harley_and_JasonBradfordEL CAJON, Calif. — A woman whose two toddlers drowned in a swimming pool at a friend’s home near Mount Helix, where a cannabis-cultivation operation was found, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of child endangerment, cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale.

Tassie Anne Behrens, 27, faces 13 years and four months in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Chantal De Mauregne.

The defendant was ordered held on $500,000 bail, the prosecutor said.

About 9:45 a.m. on May 13, Behrens awoke at a home where she was staying at 10011 Sunset Ave. in unincorporated La Mesa and found her 16-month-old daughter, Harley Bradford, and 2-year-old son, Jason Bradford Jr., floating unconscious in the backyard pool, according to sheriff’s officials.

The mother pulled the toddlers out of the pool, and she and a friend who lived at the house drove them to a nearby fire station, authorities said.

Paramedics tried to revive the children, then took them to Sharp Grossmont Hospital, where Harley died shortly after arrival, authorities said. Jason was transferred to Rady Children’s Hospital and died later that night.

Behrens initially told authorities that the children were found in the pool at a mobile home park on Jamacha Boulevard in Spring Valley, but later admitted she found them at her friend’s Sunset Avenue residence, sheriff’s Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.

She apparently told the initial story in an attempt to keep the friend from getting into trouble for not having a fence around the pool.

A subsequent search of the residence turned up a marijuana grow in the basement, Giannantonio said.

The home’s resident Larry Dangelo, 44, was arrested on suspicion of child abuse and drug offenses, including cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, according to the lieutenant.

Giannantonio said that after a thorough investigation by homicide detectives and the Narcotics Task Force, an arrest warrant was issued for Behrens and she was taken into custody last Thursday.

She has a bail review set for Friday and an Oct. 7 preliminary hearing date.

Her children’s father, Jason Bradford, 35, is serving a 60-month prison sentence in Phoenix for conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine.

Harley_and_JasonBradfordLA MESA, Calif. –  The mother of two young children who drowned in a friend’s backyard pool four months ago was arrested Thursday on child abuse and drug charges.

Tassie Behrens, 26, was arrested at a motel in El Cajon on felony charges stemming from the deaths of her 2-year-old son Jason Bradford and his 16-month-old sister, Harley.

On May 13, Behrens drove her unconscious children to a fire station in La Mesa. Attempts to resuscitate them failed, and they were declared dead later that day at area hospitals.

Behrens originally told investigators that she pulled the children from a pool at a mobile home park on Jamacha Boulevard in Spring Valley, but she later admitted that she found them in the pool at the home of a friend in unincorporated La Mesa, where she and the children were staying.

When investigators went to the home at 10011 Sunset Ave., they found a marijuana growing operation. They arrested the friend, Larry Dangelo on charges of felony child abuse, and multiple felonies related to the cultivation and sale of marijuana.

After a four-month investigation, Behrens was also arrested on two counts of child abuse and six counts related to the cultivation, possession and sale of marijuana. She is scheduled to be arraigned in El Cajon Superior Court on Monday.

The children’s father, Jason Bradford, is serving a 60-month federal prison sentence in Phoenix for conspiracy to traffic in methamphetamine.

LA MESA, Calif. — Two toddlers who died while under their mother’s care in La Mesa on Monday were one day away from going to live with their jailed father’s relatives, it was reported.

The mother of Jason Bradford, 2, and his 16-month-old sister, Harley, said she found the toddlers floating face-down in a backyard swimming pool of a family friend’s home in the 10000 block of Sunset Avenue shortly after 9:30 a.m. Monday, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

The toddlers’ paternal grandfather, Pat Bradford, told U-T San Diego their father’s cousin sought to take in the children and was supposed to gain custody of them on Tuesday. The father, Jason Bradford, is currently serving a 60-month federal prison sentence in Phoenix for conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, according to court and prison records.

“We’re aware of the custody issues going on with (the mother), related to the kids,” sheriff’s Lt. Glenn Giannantonio told U-T San Diego. “We’re going to look at every angle.”

On Monday, the toddlers’ mother, Tassie Behrens, 26, and an unidentified male companion drove the unconscious toddlers to a nearby fire station. Harley was pronounced dead at Sharp Grossmont Hospital a short time later. Jason was transferred from Sharp to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he died about shortly before 11:30 p.m.

“Sheriff’s investigators will be meeting with the District Attorney’s Office to determine if any criminal charges will be filed relating to the deaths of the children,” Giannantonio said.

Behrens first told investigators the drownings had occurred at a mobile- home park in Spring Valley, but later admitted she lied because she didn’t want her friend to get in trouble for not having a fence around the pool, Giannantonio said.

During a search of the house — where the mother and her children had been staying for several days — deputies came across a marijuana-growing setup in a basement area and called in Narcotics Task Force personnel to investigate, he said.

A resident of the home, Larry Dangelo, 44, was arrested and pleaded not guilty Wednesday to several charges, including two counts of child abuse, manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, grand theft and two counts of tampering with electric lines.

The child abuse counts relate to the drug charges and not the deaths, a prosecutor told U-T San Diego.

SAN DIEGO — Authorities Tuesday said they are considering whether to file criminal charges in the apparent drowning deaths of a 16-month-old girl and her 2-year- old brother at an East County home where they and their mother had been staying with a family friend.

La Mesa Pool DeathsThe mother found Harley and Jason Bradford floating face-down in a backyard swimming pool in the 10000 block of Sunset Avenue in La Mesa shortly after 9:30 a.m. Monday, according to sheriff’s officials.

She and a male companion drove the unconscious toddlers to a nearby fire station. Medics tried in vain to revive them there before taking them to Sharp Grossmont Hospital, where Harley was pronounced dead. Her brother was transferred to Rady Children’s Hospital, where he died shortly before 11:30 p.m., Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.

“Sheriff’s investigators will be meeting with the District Attorney’s Office to determine if any criminal charges will be filed relating to the deaths of the children,” the lieutenant said.

The mother, whose identity has not been released, first told investigators the drownings had occurred at a mobile-home park on Jamacha Boulevard in Spring Valley, but later admitted they happened at the La Mesa home.

“She said she initially gave the wrong location because she didn’t want her friend who lives at the residence to get in trouble for not having a fence around the pool,” Giannantonio said.

During a search of the house — where the mother and her children had been staying for several days — deputies came across a marijuana-growing setup in a basement area and called in Narcotics Task Force personnel to investigate, he said.

About 6 p.m., the drug agents arrested a resident of the home, Larry Dangelo, 44. He was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, damaging a power line and other charges.

To learn more about Harley and Jason, click here.

Family members spoke exclusively to Fox 5 stating the children were in the middle of a custody battle and were supposed to be taken from their mother a day after their death.

SAN DIEGO — A 2-year-old boy died  hours after he and his 1-year-old sister were found unconscious in a La Mesa swimming pool by their mother.

The boy died at Rady Children’s Hospital Monday at 11:25 p.m., according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office. The little girl died earlier Monday.

Sheriff’s investigators have found no evidence that the children’s deaths were the result of foul play, but they will be meeting with representatives of the District Attorney’s Office to determine if there are grounds for criminal charges, the department said in a written statement.

The children’s mother found them Monday morning unconscious in a backyard pool at the East County home where they had been staying with a family friend.

The woman and the friend showed up at La Mesa Fire Station 13 about 10 a.m., with the unconscious children, according to sheriff’s officials. Shortly after arriving, the man ran off, Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.

Paramedics tried to revive the children at the station, then took them to Sharp Grossmont Hospital, where the girl was pronounced dead. The boy was transferred to Rady Children’s Hospital in critical condition.

The mother told investigators she woke up about 9:30 a.m. and could not locate her children. She then went outside and found them in the pool.

The woman initially told investigators the incident had occurred at a mobile-home park in the 10700 block of Jamacha Boulevard in Spring Valley, but later admitted it happened at a home in the 10000 block of Sunset Avenue in La Mesa.

“She said she initially gave the wrong location because she didn’t want her friend who lives at the residence to get in trouble for not having a fence around the pool,” Giannantonio said.

During a search of the house — where the mother and her children had been staying for several days — deputies came across a marijuana-cultivation setup in a basement area and called in Narcotics Task Force personnel to investigate, he said. A resident at teh house, 44-year-old Larry Dangelow, was arrested and booked into jail on charges including possessing marijuana for sale and cultivating marijuana, Giannantonio said.

LA MESA, Calif. — A 1-year-old girl died and a 2-year-old boy was hospitalized after their mother and a friend discovered them in a pool Monday morning.

The mother and a male friend discovered the unconscious children in the pool at the home on Sunset Avenue in La Mesa.

Rady Children’s HospitalThe pair were apparently driving the children to the hospital when they saw a fire station on the 9100 block of Grossmont Boulevard and went there instead, sheriff’s Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.

Firefighters rushed the children to nearby Grossmont Hospital. The little girl was pronounced dead at the hospital. The boy was transferred to Rady Children’s Hospital, but his condition was not known, the lieutenant said.

The children’s mother went with them to Grossmont Hospital and remained with the little boy, Giannantonio said. Her male friend left the fire station on foot, he said.

Detectives said the woman initially told them she discovered the children in the community pool at the Lamplighter Village mobile home park in Spring Valley to protect her friend. When investigators searched the residence on Sunset Avenue they discovered a marijuana grow in the basement.

Deputies have no reason to believe that the man committed a crime, but they were searching for him as part of their investigation into the incident, Giannantonio said.

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