San Diego mother accused of shaking infant to death

Posted at 6:20 PM, Mar 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-21 10:23:16-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A woman allegedly shook her 9-month-old so hard that it caused massive brain injuries that led to his death, a prosecutor told a jury Monday, but a defense attorney said his client experienced a "mother's worst nightmare" when the baby fell off the bed in her City Heights apartment.

Guadalupe O'Campos, 35, is charged with first-degree murder and assault on a child in the Sept. 5, 2013, death of Kevin Machado.

Deputy District Attorney Nicole Rooney told jurors that O'Campos shook the baby so badly that his retina was detached from his eyeball. There were eight impact sites from trauma on the boy's head, the prosecutor said.

Rooney said paramedics responded to a 911 call from O'Campos at about 3 p.m.

One paramedic looked at the child and "knew it was bad," the prosecutor said.

"He thought he may have been handed a dead baby," Rooney told the jury.

Doctors tried to save the baby's life by relieving pressure on the brain but he died on the operating table, according to the prosecutor.

Rooney said O'Campos told police that the baby crawled fast or ran off the bed and fell head first onto the floor.

The defendant's 16-year-old daughter and husband said they heard O'Campos scream "My baby's dying! My baby's dying! He fell off the bed," Rooney told the jury.

The prosecutor said the husband and daughter had seen O'Campos shake the baby.

O'Campos later admitted that she shook her son, but only to revive him, Rooney told the jury.

The defendant's husband told her that they needed to take the baby to the doctor, but O'Campos said "No, they'll think we did something," Rooney told the jury.

Doctors will testify that the baby suffered injuries consistent with stomping, hitting, kicking or slamming, not from falling, the prosecutor said.

Deputy Public Defender Patrick McCoy urged the jury to find his client not guilty of the crimes alleged, saying the child fell off the bed.

He said O'Campos was home while the baby was taking a nap on her bed when she heard a "thud" and found him on the ground crying. She tried to revive him but he became unresponsive, the defense attorney said.

"Ms. O'Campos experienced a mother's worst nightmare," McCoy said. "She experienced a child falling off the bed."