Shafter woman charged in newborn son’s 2015 death confirmed for trial

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Shafter woman who has been in custody since 2015 — held at times in state hospitals where she received psychiatric treatment — will go to trial next month in the killing of her newborn son.

Attorneys confirmed Friday they’re ready for trial in the case of Elvira Farias, charged with first-degree murder and assaulting a child under 8 resulting in death. The trial is expected to last 20 days.

Farias, 32, is due back in court Nov. 8. She has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

On June 19, 2015, police found a baby’s body wrapped in a towel and stowed in bushes behind a Shafter medical office. A pathologist ruled the baby died from blunt force trauma and asphyxiation. The boy suffered skull fractures, a broken rib and injuries inside his mouth.

At a 2016 preliminary hearing, police testified they had spoken to Farias in the weeks before the baby’s body was found and noticed she was pregnant. The day of the body’s discovery, Farias had bloody clothing in her possession and was no longer pregnant.

Authorities said DNA evidence linked her to the newborn, and doctors who examined her estimated she had been 35 to 38 weeks pregnant.

A public defender who previously represented Farias said in 2016 she was known by many in Shafter to be mentally ill and homeless.

Since her arrest, Farias has spent time at Napa and Patton state hospitals. She previously was found incompetent to stand trial, but after treatment a judge ruled she had been restored to competency and criminal proceedings could move forward.

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