Juana Perez Valencia Gets 15 Years to Life for Murdering and Dumping Her Newborn
Juana Perez Valencia was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for murdering her infant girl right after giving birth and tossing the corpse into a dumpster. After a first jury could not reach a unanimous verdict in January, a second one last September found the Anaheim 21-year-old guilty of one felony count of second degree murder and one felony count of assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death.
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Valencia was 19 in December 2009 when she gave birth to a girl in the restroom of the Sombrero's restaurant on Katella Avenue in Stanton. The food server wrapped the newborn in a plastic bag and dumped the 6.3-pound and 17-inch-long bundle of joy in the dumpster out back, killing the child. The next day, Valencia checked into Anaheim Medical Center, where she denied having just given birth when asked by doctors, who suspected otherwise and contacted the Anaheim Police Department.
Concluding Valencia may have dumped the body at her work, which is in the Orange County Sheriff's Department jurisdiction, sheriff's investigators took over the probe, discovered inconsistencies in her statements and tracked her previous movements to Sombrero's, where the baby's body was was found.
Facing two juries was not the only unusual part of Valencia's trial, as the Mexico City native was forced to testify in court in Spanish.