Local News

Family friend: Durham mom doesn't deserve 'horrible' murder charge

Posted October 16, 2015 1:01 p.m. EDT
Updated October 16, 2015 4:07 p.m. EDT

— A family friend of a Durham woman charged with killing her 2-week-old daughter in June told WRAL News Friday that the woman is a "wonderful" mom who doesn't deserve to be charged.

Twila Mae Beunier, 30, is charged with murder and felony child abuse in the death of Briseida Abarada, who died June 6 at a home at 917 Rome Ave.

An autopsy indicated the baby had suffered head injuries, and the Medical Examiner's Office recently ruled her death a homicide, police said. Officials said Friday that Abarada suffered a fractured skull.

Gail Chappell, who said she has known Beunier for several years, said the baby's death was an accident.

"She should not be charged with this horrible murder charge. She's a wonderful mom, an absolute wonderful mom," Chappell said. "It's been very rough on her. She misses her son. They took her son away."

Chappell called Beunier's a "responsible" mother who works two jobs. Chappell said Beunier attempted to give her daughter CPR while her husband ran across the street to call 911 at another home.

"She has never been in trouble, and like I said, she is a very responsible person," Chappell said. "I just pray that this murder charge will be dropped because she is not a murderer. She's a good person. She's been very upset about it because she would never do anything to hurt her kids."

A judge denied Beunier's bond request during a Friday morning court appearance. Her next scheduled court appearance is Nov. 5.

"I just want everybody to pray for Twila," Chappell said. "Pray that this charge will be dropped and let her get on with her life, because she deserves better. She's a good mom."