A 38-year-old La Habra woman charged with killing her 7-month-old son more than seven years ago may again be facing mental health issues that could again delay her trial, according to court records obtained Monday.
Sonia Hermosillo, who has previously spent about 18 months hospitalized for mental health issues since her arrest in August 2011, was found to be mentally competent to assist in her defense in November 2016.
Hermosillo, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity six years ago, appeared on track to go on trial this year before her attorney declared in a court filing earlier this month that she doubted her client could assist in her defense.
Orange County Superior Court Judge John Conley on Friday appointed Dr. Roberto Flores De Apodaca, who has previously examined Hermosillo, to again evaluate her mental fitness. Dr. Jennifer Bosch will also evaluate the defendant.
If she is found to not be mentally competent to assist in her defense then she will be sent to a state hospital for treatment until doctors and a judge determine she is ready to continue with legal proceedings.
Hermosillo’s attorney, Jacqueline Goodman, has said in the past that her client suffered from postpartum psychosis when her son, Noe Medina, fell to his death from a parking structure at Children’s Hospital of Orange County on Aug. 22, 2011. Goodman said her client developed the mental illness during pregnancy.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons in the past has said there was evidence to show Hermosillo understood what she was doing and that she drove to the top of the hospital’s four-story parking structure, put the infant on the ledge and shoved him off before driving down and having her parking ticket validated, Simmons alleged.
Hermosillo is also accused of removing a protective helmet from the baby, who was born with flat-head and twisted-neck syndrome, Simmons alleged. Hermosillo drove around the area for hours before she was arrested near the hospital, Simmons said.
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