MURRIETA (CBS) — A Murrieta jury deliberated about six hours before convicting a Lake Elsinore mother of two on torture and other felonies in relation to her 18-month-old daughter.
Diana Vicky Estrada thrust her toddler’s legs into scalding hot water as punishment, causing third-degree burns. The 26-year-old was convicted of torture and of inflicting corporal injury to a child, as well as a sentence-enhancing, great bodily injury allegation.
According to court documents, the defendant was arrested in August 2009 after she took her then 18-month-old daughter Princella into a Lake Elsinore medical clinic with burned feet and legs. The child’s toes had turned black from the scalding, and she was transferred to the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center burn unit in Colton for treatment, including skin grafts.
In testimony from Estrada’s preliminary hearing, Riverside County sheriff’s investigators said the victim’s 4-year- old sister, Liliana, told them Estrada had gotten angry when the younger child soiled her drawers.
The woman filled a bathtub with steaming hot water and immersed the infant’s bottom half into it. Liliana told investigators that her sister was crying and had “red blood owies.”
In 2007, Estrada was charged with child abuse for beating Liliana, whose arms had been broken at different times. Estrada pleaded guilty a year later and was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 48 months probation. She was also permitted to retain custody of the children. Princella had just been born.
Liliana’s father, Fabian Cayetano Urrea, is serving a life sentence for killing the defendant’s husband, Jorge Estrada, in 2005.
Urrea and Diana Estrada had been romantically involved before she met and married Jorge Estrada. Urrea was angry because Estrada — a National Guardsman — planned to raise Liliana as his own. Princella’s father has not been identified.
Estrada is being held without bail in the county jail and will be sentenced by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Mandio on April 15 and faces life in prison.
Both children are now in foster care.
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