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For Immediate Release

Judge Sentences Mother of Son Who Died of Drug Overdose to the Maximum Term in Prison

Santa Rosa,CA | September 26, 2018

Defendant Danielle Foernsler, aka Danielle Falleto of Santa Rosa, was sentenced on September 25, 2018 by the Honorable Judge Bradley Demeo to the maximum term of 19 years 4 months in state prison after she pled no contest in July of this year to negligently contributing to the death of her sixteen year old son on April 16, 2018. The July plea violated Foernsler’s probation grant for two prior robbery convictions and resulted in Judge Demeo imposing the maximum term of nineteen years, four months in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “We concur with the court’s comments regarding the callousness exhibited by the defendant in this case. She has shown herself to be a poor probation candidate and is well deserving of a lengthy prison term.”

On April 15, 2018 Ms. Foernsler ingested drugs with her sixteen year old son at her acquaintance’s home. Ms. Foernsler was sleeping in a bedroom in the house when the boy went into medical distress. The acquaintance, Robert Harrison, noticed the boy was having trouble breathing and tried to revive him. Harrison banged on the bedroom door and urged Ms. Foernsler to assist him. After some time, Ms. Foernsler emerged from the bedroom and helped Harrison load the boy into a pick-up truck, ostensibly to bring him to a hospital. Ms. Foernsler then ran while the boy was barely breathing. Meanwhile, a bystander noticed the child was in distress and called 911 to request assistance. Medical personnel arrived, but it was too late: the boy died.

During yesterday’s sentencing hearing the courtroom was packed with the family and friends of the victim. Several family members gave impassioned statements expressing their grief for the loss of the child and their outrage at Ms. Foernsler’s cruel behavior. Judge Demeo remarked that Ms. Foernsler’s conduct was “especially callous.”

The case was investigated by the Petaluma Police Department and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Marianna Green.