A California woman beat her daughter of less than 6 months old to death. Now, she'll spend at least 15 years in prison.
In October, Angelica Castro, 21, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison in connection to the death of 5-month-old Ximena Campos-Castro January 2018 in Visalia, California. She claimed that she didn't know what happened to the baby before changing her story to say she might have accidentally hit her while they were sleeping together, according to ABC 30.
A jury didn't buy it. "With a case like this, it's a case that sticks with you," Sean Sangree, Supervising Deputy District Attorney who tried the case, told ABC 30.
Medical experts testified about the victim's injuries, saying that it wasn't plausible that either of Castro's stories made sense. "Abusive head trauma, and she had a number of injuries she had throughout her body that indicated they have inflicted injuries, not accidental," Sangree said.
According to ABC 30, Castro initially pleaded guilty to second-degree murder before attempting to withdraw the plea and fire her attorney. "A new attorney was appointed to her, and that was litigated over the last few months," Sangree said. "Today, the court ruled there is no valid basis for withdrawing."
An arrest report stated that Castro assaulted the child "by means of force that to a reasonable person would be likely to produce bodily injury," according to the Visalia Times Delta.
“Nothing is more upsetting and shocking to the senses than a child becoming the victim of violent crime,” District Attorney Tim Ward said. “It hurts a community to its very core.”
Sangree, meanwhile, spoke about the gravity of such a sad ending to a young child's life. "It ripples through the community from first responders to court staff, investigators who had to deal with this case, and hospital staff," he said, according to ABC 30.