Porterville woman sentenced to 15 year to life for murder of her baby

Elisa Navarro Image
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
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Police arrested Angelica Castro in January 2018 after doctors found suspicious injuries on her 5-month-old daughter.

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- "With a case like this, it's a case that sticks with you."

Four years ago, Angelica Castro was a 21-year-old mom who faced murder charges for the death of her baby girl, who was less than six months old.

Sean Sangree, Supervising Deputy District Attorney, had the case since day one.

He says Castro initially denied knowing what happened to her baby, but later claimed she might have accidentally hit the infant while they were napping together.

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

Medical experts testified about about the young victim's extensive injuries.

"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.

Back in April, Castro pleaded guilty to second degree murder. Shortly after, she tried withdrawing her plea and fired 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."

Tuesday morning, Castro was sentenced to 15 years to life.

Sangree says cases involving children are gut-wrenching and carry a wave of impact.

"It ripples through the community from first responders to court staff, investigators who had to deal with this case, and hospital staff," he said.

The hope is it never happens to another child.