By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal
Juana Perez Valencia, 21, was convicted in Santa Ana of one felony count of second degree murder and one felony count of assault on a child with force likely to produce great bodily injury resulting in death.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 9 at Central Justice Center; she is facing a sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.
This jury trial was a retrial of a January 2012 proceeding when a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict.
According to authorities, on Dec. 22, 2009 Valencia gave birth to a baby girl in the restroom of Sombrero’s, a Mexican restaurant in Stanton, where she was working as a food server.
The full-term baby girl was born alive, weighed 6.3 lbs. and was 17 inches long.
According to the district attorney, the defendant murdered the baby by suffocating her to death after giving birth. She then set the infant’s body in a plastic bag and threw it into the dumpster behind the eatery.
She then went to an Anaheim hospital, claiming she had been injured in a fall. The Anaheim Police Department was contacted and they turned the investigation over to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which provides police services for Stanton.
The body was discovered later that day.