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Virk Guilty; Sanity Phase Next

Court: Port Hueneme woman tried to drown her children. Jury must assess her mental state.

July 13, 2002|TRACY WILSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Port Hueneme woman was convicted on two counts of attempted murder Friday after a jury concluded she deliberately tried to drown her children in Channel Islands Harbor two years ago.

Jurors deliberated for less than a day before finding Narinder Virk, 42, guilty on both counts. They further found that Virk inflicted great bodily injury on her then 6-year-old daughter during the incident.

The case now proceeds to a second phase in which the same jurors must decide whether Virk was sane at the time of the crime.

Virk was arrested after an Oxnard resident pulled the fully clothed woman, her daughter and 9-year-old son out of the harbor on Jan. 12, 2000.

According to the children's testimony, Virk woke them in the middle of the night, led them to the marina and pushed them off a boat dock before jumping in herself. The children, now 8 and 11, did not know how to swim.

Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Richard Simon argued that Virk intentionally tried to drown her children to punish her allegedly abusive husband.

Virk's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Cynthia Ellington, said her client suffered a breakdown after her husband boarded a plane for India with plans to divorce her. Ellington argued that Virk was psychotic at the time of the incident and could not form the intent to kill.

Jurors began deliberations in the case late Thursday and came back with a verdict late Friday afternoon.

Virk remained free on $500,000 bail.

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