California mom accused of dropping baby due in court

LOS ANGELES Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:02pm EDT

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California mom accused of dropping her 7-month-old baby to his death from a hospital parking structure was due in court on Monday for her arraignment on murder charges.

The arraignment for Sonia Hermosillo, 31, was postponed last Thursday by an Orange County Superior Court judge after a doctor who evaluated her in jail found her mentally unfit to go to court.

Hermosillo, charged with murder and assault on a child, was also found to be a potential danger to herself and placed on 24-hour suicide watch at Orange County Jail.

Prosecutors say Hermosillo last week dropped her 7-month-old son some 40 feet from a parking garage at Children's Hospital of Orange County, where the boy had been treated for birth defects.

He later died from his injuries.

Hermosillo, who has two other children, was being held on $1 million bond and was also subject to a U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement hold while authorities determine if she is in the country legally.

Authorities say the arraignment could be delayed a second time if doctors find Hermosillo is still not mentally fit to leave the jail and appear in court.

Her husband, Noe Medina, has told reporters his wife suffered from severe postpartum depression and had trouble accepting her son because of his health problems.

But Orange County Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons, the lead prosecutor in the case, has said she "knew what she was doing" when she pushed her baby to his death from the parking garage.

She was arrested near the scene after a witness who saw the boy falling through the air called 911. Police spotted her car, which had been captured on a surveillance camera leaving the parking structure.

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