The trial of Maribel S. in juvenile court ended on October 21 with Judge Arthur Garcia finding the 15-year-old guilty of second degree murder in the death of her newborn son. Authorities had been called when Marian Medical Hospital in Santa Maria found suspicious circumstances surrounding a patient admitted on January 17. The baby was found dead at the girl’s home. Maribel faces sentencing on November 16.
District Attorney Joyce Dudley stated that the guilty finding brought closure to her staff working on the case. “Everyone engaged in the investigation and prosecution of this case were also deeply affected by all they observed and experienced,” said Dudley.
Prosecutor Jennifer Karapetian discussed the evidence presented, indicating a field tool had been the murder weapon. Maribel’s parents had been unaware that their daughter was pregnant and were not involved in the infant’s death.
In response to the tragic death of Baby Anthony, Dudley reminded that Santa Barbara County conducts a “Safely Surrendered Baby” program. All fire stations and hospitals in the county will take in a child within three days of birth without question.