He was rescued, but police said she pushed him into the water again an hour later -- this time to his death.
Horrifying video has emerged of what police say is the moment a Miami mother attempted to drown her nine-year-old son.
Patricia Ripley was charged on Saturday with first-degree murder and attempted premeditated murder, accused of two attempts on his life in the space of an hour — the second one successful.
Security footage from Kendall Acres Condominium complex, obtained by Univision, appears to show the moment she led Alejandro Ripley, who was autistic and non-verbal, to a canal before seeming to push him in.
Law enforcement sources told CBS4 that during her interview she admitted to thinking about killing her son for quite some time, because the older he got, the more difficult he was to control physically.
Outside a bond court hearing on Saturday, the boy's father Aldo Ripley tearfully defended his wife.
"The only thing I’ll say is that we love our life, we love Alejandro, and we don't agree with whatever they say about my wife," he said, per WSVN. "It's not real."
Alejandro's older brother meanwhile posted a message on Instagram that read, in part: "For those who know my family, brother, mother, father, you guys know. Thank you and God bless."
The family's lawyer Nelson Rodriguez-Varela said Patricia should be given the opportunity "to vindicate her good name" and asked the public to reserve judgment for when the complete story emerged.
"There is obviously a great deal of support for her," he said. "By all accounts, she has been an excellent mother, an excellent person, a great family as you can see from the people who are here."