Judge Donald Shaver has decided during a two-day preliminary hearing that Jessica Mae Betts will be stand trial for first-degree murder.
Prosecutor Annette Rees referred to Betts’ statements to police explaining her birthing situation and how she drove to Save Mart on Lander Avenue in Turlock where the infant’s dead body was found in a dumpster. Betts has stated that she didn’t know how the baby got in the dumpster though.
Deputy Public Defender Sonny Sandhu represented Jessica Betts and is using the argument that the baby may have been stillborn.
Betts will be held over at the Public Safety Center in Modesto with a $1 million bail until her January 8, 2010 arraignment hearing.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Betts could face life in prison.
This is all the beginning of a case that started when Lillie Mae Betts, Jessica Mae Betts’ mother, contacted the police when they were searching for the mother of a dead abandoned baby left in a trash dumpster in the Save Mart parking lot on Lander Avenue on November 8, 2008.
Jessica Mae Betts, 19 of Turlock, was pregnant and supposedly didn’t tell anyone while refusing to go to the doctor.
Paul Alexander Aguiar, 22 of Turlock, is Jessica Betts boyfriend and DNA confirmed father of the baby. Aguiar has stated that he did not know Betts was pregnant or that she had the baby.
Search warrant statements show that Jessica Betts admitted to giving birth to her baby. She was questioned by Aguiar about a lot of blood in the bathroom and she answered that she was menstruating. Betts concealed that baby’s crying so nobody would hear the baby in the Aguiar’s dad’s house where they were staying.
After police released information about the case and were looking for the mother of a baby dumped in a trash bin in the Save Mart parking lot, Jessica Betts mom contacted police on November 20, 2008. Police took Jessica Betts into custody that afternoon.
Police swabbed her boyfriend’s bathroom and inside a Dodge Stratus while confiscating a bathroom rug, towels, mobile phone, and a computer flash drive.
Jessica Betts was arrested and has been facing a charge of first degree murder.