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Sentencing Delayed For Santa Maria Girl Found Guilty of Murdering Newborn Baby

Santa Maria Juvenile Court Judge Arthur Garcia presides over the case of Maribel S., a girl found guilty of killing her newborn baby boy. Her Wednesday sentencing was delayed until Dec. 8. Click to view larger
Santa Maria Juvenile Court Judge Arthur Garcia presides over the case of Maribel S., a girl found guilty of killing her newborn baby boy. Her Wednesday sentencing was delayed until Dec. 8.      (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

A now-16-year-old girl will have to wait three more weeks to find out her sentence after being found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of her baby boy.

Defense attorney Lea Villegas, who represents Maribel S., asked Santa Maria Juvenile Court Judge Arthur Garcia for additional time Wednesday morning during the sentencing hearing.

At the end of the trial last month, the judge found the girl, who turned 16 Saturday, guilty of the killing the baby boy minutes after giving birth in her family’s home Jan. 17.

He also determined the allegation she used a deadly weapon — identified as a broccoli knife during the trial — to be true.

The girl showed up at Marian Regional Medical Center on Jan. 17, and hospital staff contacted police to say she recently 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.

The baby had knife wounds, including one across its throat.

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

A former Santa Maria High School student, Maribel, as she is referred to in court, has been incarcerated in Santa Maria Juvenile Hall since January.

Villegas noted they had just received the psychological evaluation on the girl, saying she needed more time to review the report received Tuesday.

For Wednesday's hearing, Deputy District Attorney Aurelia Mattson stood in for colleague Jennifer Karapetian, who led the prosecution team during the trial.

Garcia set 8:30 a.m. Dec. 8 for the new sentencing date after confirming Maribel agreed to the delay.

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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