Woman guilty of suffocating newborn

Sept. 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM
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ANAHEIM, Calif., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- A jury convicted a 21-year-old California woman of suffocating her newborn daughter just after giving birth in the bathroom of a restaurant.

Juana Perez Valencia, 21, of Anaheim was found guilty Friday of one felony count of second-degree murder and one felony count of assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death, a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office said.

Valencia gave birth to her daughter Dec. 22, 2009, in a bathroom at a restaurant in Stanton where she worked as a server, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Valencia suffocated the infant -- who was born alive and at full-term -- and tossed her body into a Dumpster, prosecutors said.

Police were alerted to the case when Valencia went to an Anaheim hospital the next day for treatment and medical evidence showed she had given birth, prosecutors added. Orange County sheriff's investigators found the baby wrapped in a plastic bag in a trash bin behind the restaurant in Stanton.

Valencia's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9. She faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison, the Times reported.

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