A La Habra mother was found by a jury to be sane when she pushed her 7-month-old son off the fourth story of an Orange County hospital parking structure in 2011, killing the infant, officials announced Monday.
Sonia Hermosillo, 41, was convicted by a jury last month of one felony count of first-degree murder and one felony count of assault on a child causing death. She had entered a plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, triggering a separate trial to determine whether she was legally insane at the time of the incident.
The same jury who convicted Hermosillo of first-degree murder also found her to be sane at the time of the murder, the O.C. District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Monday.
Hermosillo is currently being held without bail, and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 29 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
On Aug. 22, 2011, Hermosillo drove her 7-month-old son, Noe, to Children’s Hospital of Orange County in the city of Orange and parked her car on the fourth floor of its parking structure.
Baby Noe was born with congenital muscular torticollis and wore a medical helmet to correct his plagiocephaly. His medical conditions required him to receive treatment at the hospital regularly, but the infant did not have an appointment scheduled that day.
Hermosillo removed Noe’s helmet and pushed him from the parking structure, the DA’s office said. Prosecutors say she had the intention of murdering him.
The mother then walked inside the hospital, validated her parking and drove away.
A witness who saw the baby falling through the air called 911, and police responded to the scene.
Noe was taken to the trauma center at the UC Irvine Medical Center in critical condition and died two days later.
Shortly after Noe was pushed off the parking structure, Hermosillo’s husband, Noe Medina, called law enforcement to report that his wife and son were missing.
Medina told police at the time that his wife had recently been hospitalized for depression and was not allowed to be alone with the baby. He said she took Noe while he was watching the couple’s two other children at their home in La Habra. He had not been immediately aware of what had happened but when he realized they were gone, he called police to report them missing.
That night, an Orange police officer saw Hermosillo driving past the hospital on Main Street and arrested her, officials said.
“No child should die at the hands of another human being, let alone the very person whose most basic responsibility is to keep that child safe from harm,” O.C. District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a written statement. “Baby Noe should be here today, but he is not because of the methodical and callous decision by his own mother to push him to his death. No words can express the incredible sorrow that his father and siblings have had to suffer by the loss of Baby Noe.”