Woman Ruled Competent For Trial In Baby Murder
Last Update: 1:24 pm
HAMILTON, Ohio — A pre-trial hearing for the woman who murdered her 1-month-old son has determined that she is competent to stand trial.
Asuncion Avila-Villa is charged with aggravated murder in the death of her baby back in August.
Investigators say that Avila-Villa killed her 35-day-old baby boy last summer, threw his body in a dumpster behind her Hamilton apartment and then told Hamilton Police that the boy was missing.
The body of Israel Santos was later found by officers in the garbage dumpster.
Detectives say they believe Avila-Villa killed her baby to hide the fact that the father was a minor when the baby was conceived.
Prosecutors called a corrections officer who works with Avila-Villa at the Butler County Jail in Hamilton.
Deputy Sheila McIlvane says she has seen nothing to indicate Avila-Villa has problems understanding directions or participating in standard conversations with jail officers and with other inmates.
However, Hamilton Police Detective Al Davis says he did see some unusual behavior by Avila-Villa while he was investigating her reports of the missing baby last August.
Davis says that Avila-Villa told him she was bipolar and suffered from depression. The detective says he commented to her that she was not acting like a mother who had a child missing for 12 hours.
Defense lawyers asked Davis if her medication might have caused her to act in an unusual manner. Davis said he doesn’t know because he is not a mental health professional.
During the hearing, Avila-Villa sat with her defense attorneys in a orange jail jumpsuit. She showed little emotion and looked down most of the time, only occasionally looking up at the person testifying in court.
Detective Davis went on to say that the father of Avila-Villa’s newborn baby worried him because he told officers that Avila-Villa was not a good mother and not doing enough to take care of the boy.
Avila-Villa could face the death penalty if convicted.