California Mother Sentenced to 25 Years to Life for Fatally Pushing Infant off Parking Garage

Sonia Hermosillo
Orange County Police

A judge sentenced a California mother Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison after she was convicted of murdering her 7-month-old son by pushing him from a hospital parking structure.

In August, a jury convicted Sonia Hermosillo, 42, of La Habra, of first-degree murder and felony assault on a child causing death, ten years after she pushed Noe Medina Jr. from the structure at Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Orange, California, KTLA reported. “She had entered a plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, triggering a separate trial to determine whether she was legally insane at the time of the incident,” according to the outlet. A month after the conviction, the same jury determined that Hermosillo was sane when she killed her son.

During her sentencing, she pleaded with Orange County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Menninger for probation, the City News Service noted.

“I am asking for an opportunity… I want to be with my daughters. I plead with you, your honor,” she said. “I know what I did was wrong and regret doing it from the bottom of my heart. If you could just give me an opportunity please.”

Menninger explained that the jury’s conviction and subsequent determination that Hermosillo was legally sane when she murdered Noe provided her with two sentencing options, including probation or 25-years to life in prison, the Orange County Register reported. The judge sentenced her to the latter and highlighted that a sentence of probation was not an appropriate option for a person convicted of murdering a baby.

Noe was born with “congenital muscular torticollis and wore a medical helmet to correct his plagiocephaly,” KTLA reported. The child was undergoing physical therapy treatments at the children’s hospital three times a week, addressing his twisted neck and “flat-head syndrome,” and was making progress, according to the Orange County Register.

“Those who knew Hermosillo described an abrupt change after the birth of Noe Jr., as she went from a devoted, outgoing mother to a nearly catatonic woman who believed herself to be a danger to her own children,” the outlet wrote.

Hermosillo was convinced the infant would become a “big baby in diapers his whole life,” the outlet noted, citing testimony. Menninger said despite the condition, the child “was expected to ‘be perfectly normal,'” the City News Service pointed out. 

While Hermosillo’s husband took a shower on August 22, 2011, she packed the infant in her car and drove to the hospital, parking on the fourth floor of the parking structure, according to reporting by KTLA and the Orange County Register. Menninger said Hermosillo removed Noe’s helmet before pushing him to his death. 

Deputy District Attorney Mena Guirguis asserted that she made incriminating statements to police after the murder. 

“Hermosillo told police, ‘No, I would rather he died,’ and said she killed him ‘because he’s sick,’ and ‘that’s why I don’t love him,'” City News Service reported, citing Guirguis.

Experts for the defense said she suffered from postpartum psychosis, while experts with the prosecution submitted that she was depressed but made the case she was not insane.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.