LA HABRA, Calif. — A Southern California mother was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years to life in prison for pushing her 7-month-old son off an Orange County hospital parking structure, killing him over a decade ago.
Sonia Hermosillo, 42, told the judge that she was sorry for killing Noe Medina Jr. in 2011 and asked in tears to be reunited with her family, the Orange County Register reported.
“I’m asking for an opportunity to be with my daughters,” she said through a Spanish translator. “Please, your honor, I know that what I did was wrong, but I regret doing that from the bottom of my heart.”
Hermosillo was convicted by a jury last August of one felony count of first-degree murder and one felony count of assault on a child causing death. 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.
A month later, the same jury who convicted Hermosillo of first-degree murder also found her to be sane at the time of the murder.
O.C. Superior Court Judge Kimberly Menninger said Wednesday that her only options for sentencing were either probation or 25-years-to-life behind bars, adding that a sentence of probation for killing a baby was not a good option, the O.C. Register reported.
“There is no winner here,” Menninger told Hermosillo’s family. “This just became a tragedy and I’m so sorry for what you went through.”
On Aug. 22, 2011, Hermosillo drove her 7-month-old son, Noe, to Children’s Hospital of Orange County in the city of Orange and parked her car on the fourth floor of its parking structure.
Baby Noe was born with congenital muscular torticollis and wore a medical helmet to correct his plagiocephaly. His medical conditions required him to receive treatment at the hospital regularly, but the infant did not have an appointment scheduled that day.
Hermosillo removed Noe’s helmet and pushed him from the parking structure, the DA’s office said. Prosecutors say she had the intention of murdering him.
The mother then walked inside the hospital, validated her parking and drove away.
A witness who saw the baby falling through the air called 911, and police responded to the scene.
Noe was taken to the trauma center at the UC Irvine Medical Center in critical condition and died two days later.
Shortly after Noe was pushed off the parking structure, Hermosillo’s husband, Noe Medina, called law enforcement to report that his wife and son were missing.
Medina told police at the time that his wife had recently been hospitalized for depression and was not allowed to be alone with the baby. He said she took Noe while he was watching the couple’s two other children at their home in La Habra. He had not been immediately aware of what had happened but when he realized they were gone, he called police to report them missing.
That night, an Orange police officer saw Hermosillo driving past the hospital on Main Street and arrested her, officials said.