SANTA ANA (CBS) — A 21-year-old Anaheim woman, charged with killing her newborn daughter in 2009 after giving birth in a Stanton restaurant’s restroom, has been found guilty of second-degree murder.
Juana Perez Valencia, who worked at the restaurant at the time of the murder, was also found guilty of child assault causing death.
She will be sentenced on November 9.
Juana Perez Valencia’s attorney, Calvin Schneider, told jurors in the retrial of his client that Valencia was in total denial about her pregnancy and did not intentionally kill her baby.
Valencia worked at Sombrero’s restaurant in Stanton after school.
In early 2009, she began dating Luis Enrique Esquivel, who got her pregnant, Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh said.
Valencia was a virgin and the two did not complete sexual intercourse, Schneider said. Valencia dumped him when she found out he had gotten another girl pregnant, Baytieh said.
An incredulous DA, didn’t believe Valencia wasn’t fully aware of what she did. “She doesn’t call the police, she doesn’t call her sister, she doesn’t ask for help,” Baytieh said. “She goes to the bathroom, delivers a precious little girl, kills that precious little girl, and puts the precious little girl in a plastic trash bag.”
Valencia put the body and placenta in separate bags next to a trash bin, Baytieh said.
The next day, her worried brothers saw Valencia was ill so they took her to a nearby hospital in Anaheim. There, a physician concluded she had recently delivered a full-term baby and alerted authorities, Baytieh said.
Valencia initially told investigators she fell off a ladder and “urinated a ball of blood,” which she flushed down the toilet, Baytieh said.
When Valencia was told investigators had found the dead baby, she said the “ball of blood” was about three pounds, Baytieh said. The baby actually was 6.3 pounds and 17 inches long, Baytieh told jurors.
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