A La Habra mother accused of dumping her newborn son from the Children’s Hospital of an Orange County parking structure was convicted of manslaughter on Wednesday, the second of a trial to determine whether she was sane at the time of the murder. Step set up.
An Orange County Superior Court jury found 41-year-old Sonia Hermosillo guilty of murder and assault on a child in the 2011 death of 7-month-old Noe Medina Jr. Since Hermosillo pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, the same jury would return to a later “sanctification” stage of the trial.
During early crime phase of trial, Deputy District Attorney Mena Guirguis told jurors that Hermosillo planned to kill the boy and later told police investigators that she did not love him and wanted him to die. The child was receiving routine treatment at the CHOC for a congenital problem that caused her neck to twist to one side and flat-head syndrome.
“He was sick and his mother didn’t want him,” Guirgis said. “She made a cold-hearted decision to kill her child.”
According to testimony during the trial, Hermosillo, who had two grown daughters with her husband, struggled with her mental health after the boy was born. Family members made efforts to prevent Hermosillo from being alone with the child, and at one point he was placed in a treatment facility on a mental health hold.
On the afternoon of August 22, 2011, she took the boy and left the house while bathing her husband. He drove 30 minutes to the hospital parking lot in Orange.
Prosecutors said Hermosillo went to the fourth floor of the parking structure, took off the helmet the child was wearing to help with his developmental issues, and threw him out of the building. As doctors and nurses rushed to help the baby, prosecutors say Hermosillo stopped to confirm her parking.
Hermosillo was arrested hours later. In an interview with Detectives she described having “hatred, resentment and anger” towards the boy “because he is sick.”
“She was fed up, she’s had enough,” the prosecutor told the jurors on Wednesday morning. “It’s not a good reason, a reason we can wrap our heads around, but it was his reason.”
Defense attorney Jacqueline Goodman described Hermosillo as suffering and confused by the death of her son and a mental breakdown at the time of the police interview.
“It’s not a sick baby, it’s a baby who has a very long pregnancy and needs some physical therapy,” Goodman told jurors on Wednesday. “He was getting better.”
Defense attorneys said Hermosillo, a mother who devoted her life to her family, was barely eating or sleeping and was often catatonic or wandering. Goodman said she repeated “I don’t love her” dozens of times during police interviews.
“It’s not a confession, it’s mental illness,” the defense attorney said.
The second phase of the trial is scheduled to begin on August 24. If Hermosillo is found healthy, he faces up to 25 years in prison.