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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 3:37 pm | Fair 67º


Girl Set To Be Arraigned On Murder Charge After Baby’s Death

A 15-year-old girl is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on one count of murder in Santa Barbara County Juvenile Court in Santa Maria.

District Attorney Joyce Dudley said her office has filed the murder charge against the teen in addition to an allegation the girl used a weapon during the crime.

“Due to the confidentially requirements of juvenile court, the District Attorney cannot release further information at this time,” Dudley said in a written statement.

The DA's announcement comes two days after Santa Maria police announced the arrest of a 15-year-old girl in connection with the death of her newborn baby. 

Officers were dispatched to Marian Regional Medical Center on Jan. 17 and discovered the teen had delivered a baby at a Santa Maria residence, where police later found the deceased baby. 

An autopsy conducted three days later determined the baby died of traumatic injuries, leading police to open a murder investigation.

A week after the autopsy, officers arrested the 15-year-old mother for alleging killing the baby. Her name was not released due to her age. 

The baby’s death marked the sixth homicide in Santa Maria for 2016.

Police noted that the Safely Surrendered Baby Law provides the opportunity for unwanted babies to be taken to a public or private hospital, designated fire station, or other safe surrender site, as determined by the county Board of Supervisors.

“No questions will be asked, and California Penal Code Section 271.5 protects surrendering individuals from prosecution of abandonment,” police Lt. Dan Cohen said.

The following resources are available in such circumstances:

» 24-Hour Crisis Helpline,  www.211.org, or dial 2-1-1 from any phone.

» Santa Maria Youth and Family Center, www.smvyfc.org, 805.928.1707 

» Planned Parenthood, www.ppsbvslo.org, 888.898.3806 

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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