Woman convicted of killing disabled son

Aug. 12, 2008 at 11:37 AM
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RIVERSIDE, Calif., Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Riverside, Calif., jurors have found a mother guilty of murdering her disabled 3-year-old son in 2003.

Cecilia Ochoa faces at least 25 years in prison for waiting hours to call authorities after slamming a door against the head of her developmentally disabled son, Matteo. She argued it was an accident but admitted in court to having left the house knowing the boy was dead, reported the Riverside Press-Enterprise Monday.

"She let him die on the floor," Deputy District Attorney Ambrosio Rodriguez said. "She did nothing to protect him."

Ochoa's defense tried to argue that Matteo's poor health meant that his fatal injury could have happened weeks before his death. A jury deliberated the case over part of three days before finding the woman guilty of second-degree murder and assault causing death.

"It was a tough case," Rodriguez said. "It's always a tough case when a parent kills a child."

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