Woman Accused of Giving Birth to Baby in a Bathroom Then Discarding Newborn In Dumpster "like a piece of garbage" On Trial For Murder [UPDATED]
Prosecutors claim Juana Perez Valencia, now 21, decided that the newborn baby girl she gave birth to in December 2009 simply "was not part of her plans," and callously suffocated the child, then dumped the body in a trash receptacle. Today, closing arguments are being heard in Valencia's trial for the baby's death, reports the OC Register.
Valencia, who was 19 and in high school at the time she gave birth to the full-term, 6-pound, 3-ounce, 17-inch baby girl in the restroom of the restaurant where she worked, is charged with "one felony count of murder and one of assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death."
From The Register:
"Make no mistake about this, in this courtroom sits a woman who murdered her baby girl," said [Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim] Baytieh, adding: "For that she needs to be held accountable."
During the trial, Baytieh pointed out that Valencia lied to friends, family, and co-workers about not being pregnant, and was too focused on her social life and job as a food server to make room for the baby she was having. "She liked her life. She liked dancing. The baby was not part of her plan," the prosecutor said.
In Valencia's defense, her attorney is expected to argue in his closing comments that Valencia was simply too naive and inexperienced to know what she was doing in taking the life and getting rid of her baby.
"If convicted, she faces a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison," notes the paper.
UPDATE Nov. 9, 2012: Valencia, who was convicted of second-degree murder and child assault causing death on September 28, was sentenced today to 15 years to life in prison, reports City News Service.