Upland Mother Accused of Killing Baby Girl, Dropping Son From Balcony Pleads Not Guilty

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An Upland woman accused of killing her 6-month-old daughter and dropping her 1-year-old son off a balcony pleaded not guilty to charges on Friday morning.
Tierra Ortega appeared in court on March 1, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)
Tierra Ortega appeared in court on March 1, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)
Tierra Ortega sat in a wheelchair during a brief court appearance, holding her head down throughout the entire proceeding, video from the scene showed. The judge entered the not guilty plea on behalf of Ortega, who shook her head when asked if she could afford to hire an attorney. A public defender would be appointed to represent her, the judge said. Prosecutors have charged Ortega with assault on a child causing death and attempted murder in connection with the incident on Tuesday, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. Officers were first called out to the 600 block of North Wedgewood Avenue around 11:30 a.m. to a report that a woman was dangling a child over a second-story landing, according the Upland Police Department. By the time they arrived, the defendant had allegedly dropped her 1-year-old son Jerricho off the balcony. She then jumped headfirst over the railing, police said. Officers rendered aid to the toddler and mother before going into the family’s unit, where they discovered 6-month-old Ezlynn Ortega unresponsive and not breathing. The infant was found to have a skull fracture and other internal injuries, according to Upland police Capt. Marcelo Blanco. She later died at an area hospital. A cause of death was not immediately released. The little boy was treated at a hospital for a broken foot and lacerations to his head. Ortega, meanwhile, is scheduled to be back in court on March 11.

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