A Tucson woman accused of throwing her newborn son in the trash was acquitted Monday of first-degree murder, but convicted of reckless child abuse. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the charges of second-degree murder, man-slaughter and negligent homicide.
Denise Pesqueira, 23, could be placed on probation or receive a prison sentence of between two and 8 3/4 years in prison. A decision will be made at a later time as to whether she will face another trial on the homicide counts.
It was the second time Pesqueira has gone to trial on the first-degree murder and child-abuse charges. The jury hung on both counts the first time.
Pesqueira was arrested in March 2010 after she told a friend she'd given birth in August 2009 and put the baby in the trash.
The child's remains were never found, but Deputy Pima County Attorney Anita Simons said there was circumstantial evidence she killed him.
She gave birth "really quickly" in her family's hallway bathroom in the middle of the night Aug. 31, 2009, Pesqueira said. She told the jurors she put the baby on her car's passenger seat, cleaned up the bathroom and then returned to the car to find the baby dead.
After sitting there a long time, Pesqueira testified she sprinkled holy water on the baby, put him in a garbage bag and placed him in the family's trash can.
Pima County Superior Court Judge Scott Rash presided over the trial.
Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or firstname.lastname@example.org