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Judge Denies Teen Mom Murder Suspect’s Request for Furloughs from Juvenile Hall

Maribel S. is accused of homicide in death of her newborn baby

Judge Arthur Garcia on Wednesday turned down a request by Maribel S., right, who is accused of murdering her newborn baby in January, to be periodically released from Juvenile Hall to attend church with her family.
Judge Arthur Garcia on Wednesday turned down a request by Maribel S., right, who is accused of murdering her newborn baby in January, to be periodically released from Juvenile Hall to attend church with her family. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A Santa Maria Juvenile Court judge denied a 15-year-old girl’s request for periodic release from custody to attend church. 

Judge Arthur Garcia on Wednesday turned down the request made on behalf of Maribel S., who remains in custody of the Santa Maria Juvenile Hall.

Maribel, who is only referred to by her first name and first initial of her last name in court due to her age, has been incarcerated since January, when police arrested her on suspicion of murder with use of a deadly weapon.

Defense attorney Lea Villegas filed the motion for a furlough so the girl could attend church with her family. 

Both Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Karapetian and a representative of the Probation Department objected to the request, with the prosecutor noting the severity of the offense the girl is accused of committee.

Garcia noted that religious services and counseling, including for the Catholic Church, are provided through Juvenile Hall.

“Certainly, if she wants to be visited by a priest or other otherwise that is allowed,” Garcia added. “But the request (for furloughs) is denied.”

The case will return to court Sept. 1, when the attorneys and court officials will set a date for hearings on pre-trial motions.

The teen showed up Jan. 17 at Marian Regional Medical Center, where doctors determined she had given birth.

Police officers later found the dead baby boy in a plastic bag stuffed behind shoes in the bathroom vanity in the girl’s family’s apartment, according to testimony during a hearing on a defense motion to suppress evidence.

The baby had three knife wounds, including one across its throat, injuries the girl said occurred when the knife slipped as she attempted to cut the umbilical cord.

An autopsy later revealed the baby was alive at birth, and authorities concluded the death was a homicide.

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.

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