[UPDATED with Insanity Plea:] A Tale of Two Sonias: One Mom Welcomes OC's 1st Baby of 2013, Other Allegedly Murdered Boy
|R.I.P. Noe Medina, Jr.|
Western Med staff report Pamela came into the world as a healthy girl weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces and measuring 18 ½ inches long. Gonzalez, 24, and her 29-year-old husband, Jose Beltran, have two other babysitters . . . er . . . daughters back home in Stanton, Ana Maria, 9, and Erica Yasmin, 3.
Noe attained a much more gruesome Orange County milestone: He was the 40th murder victim of 2011.
Noe Medina Jr., 2011 OC Homicide No. 40: Mother Allegedly Tossed Baby Off CHOC Parking Structure
Her husband, Noe Medina, later said his wife suffered from severe post-partum depression, which was worsened by Noe's medical condition. Jailers placed her on suicide watch.
UPDATE: Sonia Hermosillo Under Suicide Watch
At Hermosillo's original arraignment last year, she pleaded not guilty to murder and child abuse charges, but the judge also ordered competency hearings to determine whether the mother was mentally able to stand trial.
Sonia Hermosillo, Accused of Tossing Baby to Death at CHOC, Has Competency Hearing
Three court-hired experts split on that question, so Judge Kazuharu Makino declared Hermosillo competent last spring and ordered the trial to proceed.
Sonia Hermosillo Ruled Competent to Stand Trial for Allegedly Tossing Baby to His Death
Today's new arraignment hearing was set as a result of the competency hearing. Hermosillo's attorney, who does not deny her client tossed Noe off the parking structure, has filed a motion to have the murder charge dismissed for lack of evidence. Hermosillo is expected to plead not guilty by reason of insanity to any criminal counts that survive the defense motion.
UPDATE, JAN. 2, 1:27 P.M.: As promised, Sonio Hermosillo this morning pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of murder and assault on a child with force resulting in death that could send her to prison for 25 years with a conviction.
Her attorney, Jacqueline Goodman, claims her client was mentally ill, suffering from postpartum psychosis at the time of her 7-month-old's death. Prosecutor Scott Simmons counters Hermosillo planned to murder the boy.
The plea means there may be two trials. The first will determine if Hermosillo committed the crimes. If she is found guilty, the second will deal with her sanity at the time.
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