Santa Maria teen “Maribel S.” has been found guilty of second degree murder in the death of her newborn son.
The court found that the teenager referred to as “Maribel S.” killed her son, Anthony, earlier this year.
“This has been devastating for her since day one,” says Lea Villegas, her defense attorney.
For three weeks the teen sat on trial. It is a case the judge described as emotional.
Her parents sat just feet away from her when the verdict came down showing no emotions. Her defense attorney says there are no winners in this case.
“It’s devastating for her family, her parents lost a grandchild and many ways at this point lost their daughter,” she says.
Prosecutor Jennifer Karapetian asked the court to find Maribel guilty of first degree murder. However, Judge Garcia says after considering all of the evidence it showed Maribel’s actions were premeditated but not deliberate.
Judge Garcia will issue his sentencing after a psychological evaluation on the teen is done.
“The probation department will prepare a report for the court to review and give him sentencing options he can make,” says Karapetian.
“Everything about this case is tragic, from the horrific death of a newborn to the long-term effect this will have on our entire community,” said Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley in a statement released to the media after the verdict.
“It is my hope that the Judge’s ruling today brings some sense of closure and healing. Above all, the community should be reminded that there is a multitude of resources available to individuals and families in need of help and support during dire times,” Dudley added.
Sentencing is set for November.
The County of Santa Barbara offers a Safely Surrender Baby Program. To learn more about this program, visit http://www.sbcfire.com/safely-surrendered-baby-program.