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Mother accused of tossing son to his death ordered back to court

April 6, 2012 |  2:57 pm

Baby
A La Habra woman accused of killing her 7-month-old son by dropping him from a four-story parking structure last August was ordered returned to court later this month to face murder charges.

Sonia Hermosillo, 31, has been charged with murder and felony assault on a child. Her arraignment Friday was continued until April 18, when she'll likely be asked to enter a plea.

The mother appeared alert when she appeared in a Santa Ana courtroom Friday after being found mentally competent last month to stand trial, said her new attorney, Jacqueline Goodman. A public defender was relieved of his duties Friday.

Goodman said that prosecutors have argued that Hermosillo was aware of her actions  the day of the child’s death – including validating her parking ticket and removing a medical helmet from the child’s head. She said the prosecution's position, however, represents a misconception about mental illness.

“It doesn't tell us anything about mental illness and the crisis she was in,” she said.

Scott Simmons, the deputy district attorney prosecuting the case, said legal insanity is not a psychiatric diagnosis.

"The question for the jury will be if she was legally insane," she said.

Goodman said Hermosillo’s husband, Noe Medina Sr., supported his wife through her illness. Hermosillo was hospitalized before the incident, and Medina would sometimes bring his wife to work with him as a construction worker so she would not be alone with the baby.

“It’s amazing that her husband has so much insight – that he doesn’t blame her,” Goodman said.

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--Nicole Santa Cruz in Orange County

Twitter.com/nicolesantacruz

Photo: Parking garage at Childrens Hospital of Orange County  in Orange where a 31-year-old La Habra woman is suspected of throwing her 7-month-old son to his death. Credit: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times. 

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