BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman charged with the torture and attempted murder of her 6-week-old son is seeking to enter a mental health diversion program, her attorney noting in a court filing she was sexually abused as a child and has been diagnosed with bipolar and major depressive disorders.
The mental disorders 21-year-old Elizabeth Jara suffers from “played a significant role in the commission of the charged offenses,” her attorney, Richard Rivera, wrote in a motion asking the court to determine if she’s eligible for the program.
A hearing on the matter is set for Sept. 20.
Jara and the child’s father, Jorge Millan, 22, are both charged with torture, attempted murder and child cruelty in connection to injuries suffered by Xander Millan. A trial — which Jara could avoid if she qualifies for the program — is scheduled next month.
The infant was taken by Jara to Memorial Hospital on May 3, 2021, where it was determined both arms and multiple ribs were broken, bruises were visible all over his body and there were burns under his feet that appeared to have been caused by a lighter, according to court documents.
Jara blamed Millan, saying he was too rough with the child and abusive to her, documents said. Millan pointed the finger at her, telling detectives Jara needed to be evaluated for anger issues and “psychotic” behavior.
Deputies searched the the home where the couple was staying and found it infested with roaches and filled with dog feces, according to court documents and a deputy’s testimony at the couple’s preliminary hearing. Three dogs and six puppies were inside.
Eight lighters and a propane tank were seized from Millan’s bedroom, according to testimony.
Xander was placed on a ventilator for nearly two weeks and given blood transfusions, a sergeant testified at the preliminary hearing, according to the motion.
“There were bone breaks throughout the body in various stages of healing, as shown through radiology findings,” according to the sergeant’s testimony. He had spoken with a doctor at Valley Children’s Hospital about the life-saving measures used on the infant.
The couple have another child, a daughter who was 1 at the time Xander was taken to the hospital, the motion said.