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Mom appears in court for toddler's death

February 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A Seal Beach mom appeared before a judge Wednesday in the violent death of one of her 22-month-old twins.Even seasoned Seal Beach police officers say this case has taken a toll on them. Now police say that doctors found fresh and old rib fractures on the victim, as well as a skull fracture on her twin brother.

The mother of four is accused of the unthinkable crime of hurting her toddler twin daughter so severely that the child died from her injuries.

Wednesday, Wilborn made her first court appearance telling the judge her family would be hiring a private attorney. Seal Beach police say they received a 911 call from Wilborn on Dec. 17 saying her daughter was unresponsive. The child died later at a hospital and the coroner determined the cause of the death to be blunt force trauma.

"After a lengthy investigation by both the Seal Beach Police Department Detectives as well as the Orange County Coroner's Office, it was determined that those injuries were not caused by anything other than her mother," said Sgt. Steve Bowles of Seal Beach police.

Prosecutors say Wilborn faces four felony counts. Three of them are for old and new injuries sustained by her daughter Millicent, and the fourth is for a skull fracture discovered on Millicent's twin brother.

Wilborn lived in Sea Breeze Village, a military housing complex in Seal Beach with her husband and four children, all under the age of three. She was arrested Monday when she showed up for a supervised visit with her children, who are now in protective custody. Prosecutors say her husband is a medical recruiter for the army. Police say he was working at the time of the assaults.

"It's something we don't see very regularly. It has definitely taken a toll on our officers and for us, we've become very emotionally engaged especially in a case like this because it is so tragic and it's tragic for everyone and especially a tragedy for the remaining children in that family," said Bowles.

Wilborn is now being held on $1 million bail. If she is convicted, she faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison. She is expected back in a Santa Ana courtroom Thursday morning for her arraignment.