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Police: Espinosa planned to hurt all 3 kids

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Fresno mother accused of drowning her two month old son intended to hurt all three of her children.

Gabriela Espinosa is facing murder charges for the death of her newborn son at a Fresno motel.

Action News has learned the mother accused of murdering her baby boy intended to drown all three of her kids last weekend but changed her mind after fearing her 4 and 6-year-old sons may make noise or put up a fight.

"Through our investigation we believe, I believe the intent was to hurt the three kids but luckily she didn't. But she did kill her infant," said Lt. Mark Salazar with the Fresno Police Department.

Police say Gabriela Espinosa was temporarily housed at the Economy Inn on Blackstone and Ashlan after a domestic abuse issue with her children's father just a day earlier.

"There was a domestic violence incident with him and her at a confidential location and then we issued a case report also an emergency protective order."

Investigators say the 23-year-old mother did not appear to be under the influence of any drugs last Saturday when she drowned her son inside this motel room.

Espinosa's apparent intent echoes what a Texas mother carried out in 2001. Andrea Yates drowned all 5 children after battling severe postpartum depression for an extended time.

ABC 30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi says defense attorneys will seek out experts as they work to determine a motive for the crime. "Something sparked in her life to bring these events all together and created this depression and created this, frankly, unreasonable action. On her behalf a psychiatrist and psychologist should be hired to explain why she did what she did."

Capozzi expects attorneys will claim Espinosa was insane at the time or had a diminished capacity. During her first court appearance Thursday, defense attorneys hinted they'd be exploring possible mental health issues like postpartum depression.

The child's father, Jose Manuel Garcia was detained Thursday by immigration and customs officials, but he was later released to make funeral arrangements. He has been ordered to report to immigration offices in 30 days.

Garcia has not been arrested for the domestic violence case that's still under investigation.

But the two children remain in child protective custody.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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fresno, crimetracker, murder, court, local, sontaya rose
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