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Guilty verdict in baby dumping case

Posted: September 29, 2008 9:43 p.m.
Updated: December 1, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A jury found Jacquelin Linaras guilty Monday of murdering her newborn girl and discarding the body in a mobile home park trash bin.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury deliberated for less than two hours Monday before finding 25-year-old Linaras guilty of first-degree murder and assault on a child.

Deputy District Attorney Carolyn McNary said Linaras killed her daughter shortly after giving birth in May 2006 by hitting the girl's head on a cabinet.

A resident discovered the lifeless body while searching for recyclables in a trash bin the next day near Linaras' home in the Polynesian Mobile Home Park in Newhall.

Linaras and her boyfriend, Jose de la Cruz Depaz, were arrested May 16, 2006, after a neighbor tipped off investigators.

Linaras faces 25 years to life in prison when she is sentenced Thursday.

Prosecuters dropped charges against Depaz in 2007.

Because she had no name, the newborn was known to investigators as Baby Jane Doe No. 36.

This is the type of incident that prompted county Supervisor Michael Antonovich to introduce the Safe Surrender Program which the board adopted unanimously in 2001.

The fact that the ordinance was on the books when Linaras murdered her newborn was painful to accept for Antonovich spokesman Tony Bell.

"This is the kind of incident we don't want to see," Bell said Monday. "We don't want children abandoned in any sense of the word but this (ordinance) is a better alternative than dumping, or worse."

A mother surrendered her newborn boy Sept. 9 at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Bell said.

It was the seventh safe surrender in Los Angeles County in 2008.

County officials placed the boy with the the Department of Children and Family Services which will place the child in foster care or attempt to have it adopted, he said during a phone interview Monday.


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