21-year-old Porterville woman charged with murdering her baby

A Tulare County judge ruled on Friday there is probable cause to believe a Porterville woman murdered her baby girl.

21-year-old Angelica Castro was arrested in January of 2018.

Friday was the date of her preliminary hearing.

When a Porterville Police officer first asked Castro about her baby's injuries, Castro said she didn't know what happened.

Asked again about the injuries, she said she could have accidentally hit her while they were taking a nap together.

The emergency room doctor at Sierra View Medical Center also questioned Castro, who denied dropping the baby.

"She said the baby was sleeping with her and when she woke up at 8.30 p.m., realized that the baby was not breathing," said Sierra View Medical Center doctor Richard Doyan.

For at least 25 minutes, Doyan tried to revive the baby, but those efforts were unsuccessful.

After the baby died, Doyan reviewed X-rays and a CAT scan, which showed the baby had multiple brain bleeds and skull fractures.

Dr. Gary Walter performed the autopsy a few days later and documented the fractures and bleeding as well.

At Castro's preliminary hearing on Friday, Walter testified that the baby died due to blunt force trauma, and in his opinion, the trauma happened more than once.

Tulare County prosecutors don't think this was an accident.

They've charged Castro with murder and assault on a child causing death.

A Porterville Police detective said Castro told him she was suffering from stress and had a few drinks before lying down with her daughter-her first drinks in three years.
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