Jury finds woman accused of drowning newborn grandson guilty of first-degree murder

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Kern County jury has found Beant Dhillon, a woman accused in the death of her newborn grandson, guilty of first-degree murder.

Dhillon, 45, faces 25 years to life in prison after being convicted of three charges: first-degree murder, assault of a child under the age of 8 resulting in death and willful cruelty to a child.

After the verdict was read, Dhillon was seen crying, sniffing with her head bowed.

Dhillon drowned the newborn after her teen daughter gave birth inside a bathroom in the family’s southwest Bakersfield home, according to prosecutors. She killed the child to hide that her 15-year-old daughter had been pregnant out of fear pf what the Sikh community would think, said prosecutor John Allen.

Allen said it was a “correct, just” verdict.

Defense attorney David A. Torres said he was shocked, upset and disappointed with the verdict. He said they had a viable theory that the baby died from natural causes either because the mother received no prenatal care, he wasn’t kept warm after birth or he bled out because his umbilical cord wasn’t tied off after being severed.

A sentencing date has been set for Jan. 21.

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