Anaheim mother convicted of suffocating newborn in restaurant restroom

SANTA ANA, Calif.

A jury found Juana Perez Valencia guilty of one felony count of second-degree murder and a felony count of assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death.

On the night of December 22, 2009, Valencia suffocated her newborn baby immediately after she gave birth in a restaurant restroom in Stanton where she was a server. Valencia then put the baby in a plastic bag and disposed of the body in a trash bin.

The next day she went to an Anaheim hospital for treatment, claiming she was hurt in a fall and denying she had given birth. Hospital staff contacted the Anaheim Police Department. The Orange County Sheriff's Department took over the case, discovered the baby and arrested Valencia.

Friday's conviction capped the end of a retrial of the case. A jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in January.

Valencia faces 25 years to life in state prison. She is scheduled for sentencing on November 9.

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