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Accused killer of baby pleads not guilty by reason of insanity

Attorney for Sonia Hermosillo, charged with murder after dropping her 7-month-old son from the 4th floor of a parking garage, says she has 'post-partum psychosis.'

January 03, 2013|By Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times
  • Sonia Hermosillo peers out of her holding cell during her arraignment last spring.
Sonia Hermosillo peers out of her holding cell during her arraignment last… (Allen J. Schaben, Los Angeles…)

A woman accused of dropping her 7-month-old son from the fourth floor of a parking structure pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity Wednesday in an Orange County courtroom, a prosecutor said.

Sonia Hermosillo, who has been charged with child assault and murder in the 2011 death of her son, was evaluated by three doctors before a judge found her fit to stand trial last year.

Her attorney, Jacqueline Goodman, has said that her client suffers from "postpartum psychosis."

Hermosillo drove to Children's Hospital of Orange County on Aug. 22, 2011, and parked her car on the fourth floor of a parking structure, according to prosecutors. She is accused of removing a safety helmet her son wore for medical purposes and dropping the baby from the parking garage.

She reportedly went inside the hospital and validated her parking ticket after the incident. The baby died two days later.

"Those are very much goal-oriented decisions that she was making," said Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Scott Simmons.

After the death, Noe Medina Sr., Hermosillo's husband of 13 years, defended her actions.

"My wife was not in her five senses," he said in Spanish through an interpreter. "She didn't know what she was doing."

He said at a news conference that she was suffering from postpartum depression and asked the public to refrain from judgment.

If convicted, Hermosillo faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. She is due back in court Feb. 22 for a trial-setting conference.

nicole.santacruz@latimes.com

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