Judge says Calif. mom can be tried in baby's death

March 13, 2012 - 12:45 AM

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A judge ruled Monday that a mother charged with killing her 7-month-old son by tossing him from the fourth floor of a hospital parking structure is mentally competent to stand trial.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Kazuharu Makino made the ruling after reading psychologists' reports on Sonia Hermosillo, 31, who is charged with murder and assault on a child in the August death of her son Noe Medina Jr.

Hermosillo's arraignment is scheduled for April 6. She faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison and is being held on $1 million bail.

Three psychologists examined Hermosillo and the results were split, with one saying she was competent to stand trial, another saying she wasn't, and a third saying the results were inconclusive, the Orange County Register reported.

Prosecutors allege that on Aug. 22, Hermosillo tossed the child from the fourth level of the parking garage at Children's Hospital of Orange County, then validated her parking ticket and drove away. She returned hours later and was arrested.

Her husband, Noe Medina, said last year that his wife suffered from severe post-partum depression and was distraught because their son had several medical conditions. He urged the public not to judge her.

Prosecutors said Hermosillo removed a special helmet the child wore to reshape his head before tossing him over the railing.

Scott Simmons, the prosecutor handling the case, previously told the Los Angeles Times that the removal of the helmet was proof that Hermosillo "did know what she was doing."

The office of Deputy Public Defender Charles Hasse, who is representing Hermosillo, was not accepting messages when called for comment after business hours by The Associated Press.