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GUILTY CA - Patricia Lopez charged in death of newborn, Holt, 7 Feb 2011

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by Daisyjane, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. Daisyjane

    Daisyjane "All the clouds are clearing, and I think we're ov

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    http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_17364091?nclick_check=1

    Calif. teen charged as adult in death of newborn The Associated PressPosted: 02/11/2011 01:43:09 PM PST Updated: 02/11/2011 01:43:09 PM PST

    STOCKTON, Calif.—A 17-year-old Central California girl charged with murdering her newborn with a pair of scissors and burying her in a shallow grave is being charged as an adult. The Record of Stockton reports that Patricia Lopez of Holt was arraigned Thursday and charged with first-degree murder and child abuse. She did not enter a plea. Investigators say Lopez concealed her pregnancy from her parents. They believe she gave birth Monday in her family's mobile home and killed the baby in the bathroom. Lopez sought medical treatment Tuesday at a local hospital, prompting staff to contact the police. Investigators later found the buried remains of a premature infant near Lopez's home.If convicted, Lopez faces 26 years to life in state prison. She is scheduled to return to court Tuesday.

    This was discussed at length last night on Nancy Grace show. High schooler hid pregnancy from parents. The baby was very premature, and a doctor who was interviewed stated that it was not viable, and probably did not even look like a human baby. Said the 17 year old probably acted out of shock, hormones out of whack, etc. But others callling in were clamoring for first degree murder charges.

    Anyone care to weigh in on this?
     
  2. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    I would have to know more to weigh in fully. There are limited articles and information about this one.

    I did find this one which has a bit more info in it and snipped this from it

    In court Thursday, Judge Richard Guiliani read Lopez the charges and asked if she wanted to speak with an attorney. She responded with silence, as if confused.

    "If there's somebody here who needs a lawyer, it certainly is you," Guiliani told her, next appointing an attorney to represent her.


    http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110211/A_NEWS/102110321/-1/A_NEWS06
     
  3. Velouria

    Velouria Don't Drink the Pinellas Punch!

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    I'm having difficulty figuring out why they are charging her with 1st degree murder?

    I'm in no way condoning what this young girl did, and find it heartbreaking. :( However, the cutoff for legal abortions ranges from 22 to 24 weeks, depending on the state. From the reports, it sounds as though the baby was judged within that range of gestation.

    Again, wondering how they arrived at charging her as an adult with 1st degree when she likely could have obtained a legal abortion. :waitasec:
     
  4. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    I agree Velouria, I think the 1st degree charge is a bit premature, the prosecutor even states they have limited info, etc.

    snipped from article I posted above

    Deputy District Attorney Claire Van Vuren outside of court said the investigation remains in its early stages. She is waiting to learn more from the autopsy reports.

    "We can't really speculate at this time what her motive was," Van Vuren said. "With the little information we have, we felt she should be tried as an adult."
     
  5. kgeaux

    kgeaux New Member

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    The articles are skimpy on details, but from what I've read, I think perhaps the DA has jumped the gun.

    First of all, there is tremendous difference in the viability of a 22 week fetus compared to a 26 week fetus. The younger age has a less than 10% chance of surviving, and is still within the time where it would be considered a miscarriage instead of a stillborn. As others have noted, it would have been a legal abortion had the early delivery been caused deliberately by an abortion doctor. But by 26 weeks, viability has jumped to 80%, although lots of those children will have some severe side effects due to the early delivery.

    Secondly, the article doesn't even say that the baby was born alive (autopsy results are not in yet) and there is no information on how the scissors were used.

    I think if the autopsy doesn't prove that the baby took a breath, then the worst this young woman did was to treat the body of her fetus disrespectfully. (Not speaking from a moral point of view here, but from a legal point of view.....no breath, no life, right?) I also think the DA should have waited for the results of the autopsy before jumping to the first degree murder charge.

    We have a slippery slope here, because as others have pointed out, if a fetus can be legally aborted at a certain stage of development, stating that the fetus is not alive at that time, then how can we turn around and say it is a living baby at the exact same stage of development, just because the circumstances of the "abortion" differ?
     
  6. LCoastMom

    LCoastMom JUSTICE FOR CAYLEE MARIE - STILL WAITING

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    Did she do something to cause an AB vs a miscarriage (SAB) or getting a TAB? (22 weeks is the very latest most doctors/clinic in CA will perform a TAB unless the mother's life is in jeopardy (earlier for some doctors/clinics).

    In CA she would not have a waiting period, no mandatory counseling, no parental consent (or even notification), most likely would qualify for financial aid. With 87 percent of U.S. counties having no abortion providers - CA has 59% with providers available.

    http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/government-and-you/state-governments/state-profiles/california.html

    I take real exception to the comments on NG by "a doctor who was interviewed stated that it was not viable, and probably did not even look like a human baby."

    By 16 weeks a ''fetus'' has lost that alien appearance and at 20 weeks is very much a miniature, developing human baby.

    While I'm perfectly willing to withhold judgement until more facts are known, this teen "hid the pregnancy from her parents" so this is not a case of pregnancy denial - the father has been notified - another known.

    "McElroy said Lopez's parents, two sisters and more than a dozen relatives came to court in a show of support."

    http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110210/A_NEWS/102100328

    1st degree and trial as an adult will probably be plead down - but if the comments regarding the baby being born alive and as yet unknown COD we'll see.

    Sounds like a tragedy for all concerned.
     
  7. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    The reporter says the girl concealed the pregnancy. Whether that means she was conscious of it and actively concealed it or simply was a statement based on the fact that the parents did not know she was pregnant, I do not know.

    Again, such limited facts on this one. It is entirely possible (not saying it is the case, again, too few facts, devils advocate here) that this young lady suspected her pregnancy but was unable to accept or face that fact, subconcsious denial could have been confronted with an early delivery, forcing a very fragile psyche to face the arrival of a premature child she had not even allowed herself to accept she was carrying as yet.

    Again, not saying this is the fact, but given we have so few, I feel this is just as possible as a young lady consciously hiding her pregnancy from all and them cruelly, and with forethought, killing the child upon delivery.

    We are not even sure if the child was born alive, autopsy results are not in yet, nor has COD been released. I will wait and see on this one before forming an opinion.
     
  8. mommy23

    mommy23 There is no original thought....

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    My initial opinion, always subject to change, lol

    I do not think murder charges are in order here. If the baby was full term, I would have a different stance.... I think....

    I see a 17 yr old, who is scared, has not yet accepted she is having a baby, and then the baby comes way early. She didn't get a chance to accepted and share the news, and she freaked out. Whether the baby was born alive or not, she may not have known. Survival rates even at 26 weeks are dependant on proper medical care. Usually, an infant that young would need intervention IMMEDIATELY after birth. The baby could have been born alive and died within minutes, OR appeared to be dead. As a 17 yr old, would she know how to handle a situation like that?

    What was her family/home life like? Was she a good student? Been in trouble before? Who lives in her house with her? WHere is Dad to this baby? I know her family was in court, but how are they behind closed doors? Strict? Accepting? Not making any assumptions, just wondering...

    I think she needs counseling, some punishment, whether it be community service, maybe time in a lock up group home type setting... But I cannot for the life of me say MURDER charges.

    And my feelings honestly surprise me, I usually want everyone accountable for their actions, to the fullest extent of the law, however, something about this case got to me. I feel this girl had a fear of something that caused her actions.... Either a fear or she is very uneducated, but either way, I think she deserves a break, and a lot of counseling.

    Cannot wait to see the autopsy reports :twocents:
     
  9. Melanie

    Melanie Inactive

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    Such a sad sad case. Like many others have said, I do not believe this warrants a 1st degree murder charge. I'll have to chime in more once the autopsy reports come out.

    MOO

    Mel
     
  10. Jaxson

    Jaxson Your barkin' up the wrong tree

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    First I want to know if the baby was 'born' or 'miscarried'.
     
  11. 2goldfish

    2goldfish Active Member

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    I think 1st degree in this case is overdoing it....
     
  12. nervous_nellie

    nervous_nellie Carpe Noctem

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    http://www.baby2see.com/development/week26.html

    i agree that not enough technical info is known to feel comfortable with what to charge her with... BUT i believe that the fact that she "hid" the pregnancy and then used some scissors for the final blow suggest to me that she thought that the child was alive. not only with this young lady but just in general i want to know what the heck is going on with our society relating to all of the depraved indifference to life that we have been seeing?? after the baby in the toilet last week and now this leaves me feeling just sort of sad and hopeless. because this girl hid the pregnancy and then murdered what she thought was a live infant says to me that she knows right from wrong and she consciously chose wrong. i have been in some sticky situations before in my life (nothing comparing to this) and i dont understand how a woman could do this without any thought to how they were going to have to live with this decision for the rest of her life. i do have friends that have had legal abortions and some of them are emotionally damaged from it... i couldnt imaging having the memories of doing something like what this girl did floating around in my head for the rest of my life. ... :(
     
  13. Tuffy

    Tuffy Not really that tough...

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    We need way more info at this point. I agree if this baby could be legally aborted, where is the murder charge coming from? I guess the missing part is how did the mom kill the baby?

    Like the abortionist in PA, killing the baby inhumanely outside the womb, would be murder. This is not my opinion, but the opinion of the prosecutor in the case.

    The mom taking some sort of steps to cause the baby to be born prematurely, thus not surviving is kind of sketchy for a first degree murder charge.
     
  14. not_my_kids

    not_my_kids New Member

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    First degree is a little overblown. Seems as if they are trying to make an example of this girl. Not something I support as facts often get lost in that situation.

    Did it cry, was it breathing? Did she murder the child or did she simply deliver a dead baby that she was unprepared to deal with? Did she intentionally hide the pregnancy, or did she just not know how to tell them or know at all? Most woman don't get confirmation of a pregnancy until somewhere around 12 weeks, I can imagine that time being doubled for a teenage girl that likely didn't know how to make a doctor's appointment or was worried about her parents finding out if she was pregnant.

    There is mindset and motive to consider here. If she set her mind on making sure that no one knew she was pregnant and making that baby disappear once it got here, then sure, she's a murderer. But if she was simply confused and scared, had no idea what to do with this thing that just came out of her, then what? Not murder, definitely something much less.
     
  15. DairyGirl

    DairyGirl New Member

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    You know, if it weren't for the fact that scissors were used I would agree that it is overreacting on the part of the prosecutor but you have to remember that they know more then we do as far as the condition of the baby. Maybe the baby was injured or mutilated in such a way that they felt it warranted a first degree charge?
     
  16. nervous_nellie

    nervous_nellie Carpe Noctem

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    yeah, the scissors are bothering me too...
     
  17. angelmom

    angelmom The love stays...forever in our hearts

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    What is the difference? At that gestation, it is exactly the same thing; labor pains and the delivery of the baby.

    I'm totally calling BS on "it probably didn't even look like a human baby." I have seen miscarried babies as early as 14 weeks gestation, and there is no denying that they are human. At 22 weeks they are just very tiny babies, but definitely babies.


    BBM...maybe in 1956. Today women can and often do find out they are pregnant before they even miss a period.

    I don't see how "confused and scared" is an excuse for stabbing a baby to death with scissors and burying the poor little thing in a shallow grave. What kind of people are we raising?

    What absolutely slays me is that a lot of the same people who think this is not murder would call for the public lynching of someone who killed an animal. (not that I'm defending those dirtbags either)

    I am deeply concerned for our world when anyone thinks this is less than horrifying.
     
  18. Jaxson

    Jaxson Your barkin' up the wrong tree

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    The difference to me would be whether or not it is murder.

    I am fully aware that a baby born prematurely is a premature infant. It would be a live birth. A miscarriage is not a live birth. I don't know that she did anything with the scissors other than cut the umbilical. I may have missed what she did with the scissors. I have a sister who gave birth at 26 weeks. She didn't know she was pregnant. It was her 3rd child and she had been told she had miscarried 2 1/2 months before because she was hemorrhaging. My niece will turn 25 on the 20th of this month.

    I understand this girl is young and hid the pregnancy. My sister did the same with her first...but she did tell us when it became too obvious to hide anymore. She was 7 1/2 months pregnant then. This girl may have been putting off the inevitable also and then miscarried and felt she could bury the baby and never have to tell.

    So I guess when I said was it 'born' or 'miscarried' that is exactly what I meant. Was it born and she killed it or let it die...or did she miscarry and then just bury the baby.


    ETA And yes I agree it would have looked like a baby either way.
     
  19. LCoastMom

    LCoastMom JUSTICE FOR CAYLEE MARIE - STILL WAITING

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    September 27, 2011 <<snipped>>

    STOCKTON - A county medical examiner established that "Baby Girl Lopez," as he named her, was not only born full term, she also was delivered alive.

    The product of a hidden pregnancy, her life lasted only minutes.

    Her mother, 18-year-old Patricia Lopez, a studious girl who dreamed of becoming a doctor, is accused of killing the newborn soon after giving birth in the bathroom of her family's Holt mobile home in February.

    She allegedly buried the remains in the backyard while everyone else in the family slept.

    "There was overwhelming evidence that this baby was born alive," San Joaquin County Chief Medical Examiner Bennet Omalu said during a preliminary hearing Monday. Autopsy reports indicate that the baby had blood preasure and breathed air for a period before expiring.

    Lopez told police she stabbed the baby with a pair of scissors, then took a shower and combed her hair while the baby was dying, Jimenez said. Lopez told police she returned to the bathroom to clean up and bury the body, Jimenez said.

    Omalu said the newborn, identified in court papers as Baby Jane Doe, was stabbed 10 times in the chest and sustained three deep wounds to her neck.

    Lopez was charged as an adult, facing a possible sentence of 26 years to life if convicted of first-degree murder. A judge is expected to decide today whether the case moves on to trial.

    More at link

    http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110927/A_NEWS09/109270321&cid=mmc

    Precious baby girl died while mom combed her hair after being stabbed to death. Some doctor this one would have made...
     
  20. LCoastMom

    LCoastMom JUSTICE FOR CAYLEE MARIE - STILL WAITING

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    http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110928/A_NEWS09/109280318

    Teen mom to face trial over newborn's death <<snipped>>

    September 28, 2011

    STOCKTON - Patricia Lopez, a teenager prosecutors say took her newborn's life, will stand trial for the child's death, San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge William Johnson determined Tuesday.

    Lopez, who is being tried as an adult, has been held on charges of child abuse and premeditated murder.

    Investigators have said Lopez confessed during an interview to killing the baby.

    Lopez concealed her pregnancy as well as her boyfriend from her parents, who live in a Holt farming community.

    Her then-boyfriend, 18-year-old Maximilano Navarro, said during a preliminary hearing that Lopez told him she had miscarried. He later learned of the baby's death when the story surfaced in the news.


    More at above link.
     

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