SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California woman was convicted Wednesday of pushing her 7-month-old son to his death from the fourth story of a hospital parking garage.
Sonia Hermosillo, 41, of La Habra, was convicted by a jury of one felony count of first-degree murder and one felony count of assault on a child causing death, the Orange County district attorney’s office said in a statement.
The jury will now decide whether Hermosillo was legally sane when she pushed Noe Medina Jr. from the parking structure of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County on Aug. 22, 2011.
According to trial testimony, Hermosillo had struggled with mental health issues after the birth of the boy, who had been undergoing treatments at the hospital for several medical problems, including a congenital issue that twisted his neck.
“He was sick, and his mother didn’t want him,” prosecutor Mena Guirguis told jurors at the trial. “She made a cold-hearted decision to kill her child.”
After driving to the hospital, Hermosillo took off a helmet that the boy was wearing for one condition and pushed him from the building, prosecutors said.
“Hermosillo then walked inside the hospital, validated her parking, and drove away,” the DA’s statement said.
The boy died two days later.
Arrested hours after her son’s fall, Hermosillo told police that she had “hate, resentment and anger” toward the boy “because he’s sick,” authorities said.
On Wednesday, defense attorney Jacqueline Goodman said the child actually was getting better and that Hermosillo suffered from a psychotic break at the time of his death, the Orange County Register reported.
During the police interview, she repeated “I don’t love him” dozens of times, the attorney said.
“That is not a confession. It is mental illness,” Goodman said.
Hermosillo pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The sanity phase of her trial was scheduled to begin on Aug. 24. If found sane, she could be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.