Saturday, September 22 , 2018, 3:06 pm | Fair 68º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Hearing Dates Set for Santa Maria Girl Charged With Murdering Newborn

Dates have been set for pre-trial motions in a case against a 15-year-old Santa Maria girl charged with murdering her newborn boy. 

During a brief hearing Thursday, Santa Maria Juvenile Court Judge Arthur Garcia scheduled time on Sept. 22 and 23 for the matter.

Testimony is expected to be heard on the first day, and arguments are planned for the second day, Garcia said.

The girl, referred to as Maribel S. due to her age, has been in Santa Barbara County Juvenile Hall since her late January arrest.

She has been charged with murder with use of a deadly weapon in connection with the death of her baby.

Santa Maria police were notified after the the girl showed up at Marian Regional Medical Center where doctors determined she had just given birth.

Details of the motion have not been released.

The judge also asked defense attorney Lea Villegas to extend the time waiver for a speedy trial through October, since it currently will expire Oct. 14.

Villegas said her client agreed, but added she is eager to move the case forward.

“I intend to do that,” Garcia told Villegas and Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Karapetian.

The judge also said he intends to coordinate trial dates with Santa Barbara County Superior Court officials. Attorneys have estimated the trial will take 5-7 full days, or twice as long if the busy juvenile court judge can only carve out afternoons for the case.

"That’s realistic, right?” Garcia asked, as both attorneys answered affirmatively. 

Once being notified by medical staff, police went to the girl’s home and eventually found the baby’s body in a plastic bag behind shoes in a vanity.

The girl’s arrest came after an autopsy determined the baby has been born alive, and had suffered three knife wounds. The girl told police the knife slipped as she was attempting to cut the umbilical cord. 

While most juvenile hearings are confidential, the public and media are allowed to sit on some cases involving serious crimes.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >