VENTURA, Calif. – District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced today that both people responsible for the death of newborn baby Diego Villa have pled guilty to murder charges.
Diego Villa (DOB 07/15/98), was in a relationship with Andrea Torralba Camacho (DOB 11/30/98), when they moved to Oxnard from Oaxaca, Mexico, in early 2019. Camacho was pregnant from an alleged rape by another man in Oaxaca and did not want the baby.
On July 18, 2019, Camacho went into labor at St. John’s Medical Center in Oxnard and had a healthy baby boy named Diego. That night, Villa and Camacho attempted to kill the baby. When their initial efforts failed, Villa took Diego in his arms and strangled him. Once it appeared Diego was dead, Villa placed him back in the bassinet and called the nurse. Diego was taken to the intensive care unit and pronounced dead the next day.
Villa and Camacho were charged with murder and assault on a child causing death. Camacho showed symptoms of postpartum depression. Camacho pled guilty to second-degree murder on January 20, 2023. She is set to be sentenced on March 29, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 23 of the Ventura County Superior Court. Villa, pled guilty to the willful, deliberate, and premeditated first-degree murder on February 27, 2023. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 23.
“This case is a tragedy that was completely preventable,” said prosecutor Amber Lee. “California’s Safe Surrender Baby Law would have allowed the defendants to walk away from the hospital and leave baby Diego in the care of medical staff. However, Villa chose to take the life of a defenseless infant who was less than a day old. It’s truly heart breaking that baby Diego’s life was so callously disregarded.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee is a member of the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office Major Crimes Homicides Unit.
The Safe Surrender Baby Law aims to protect babies from being hurt or killed because they were abandoned. The law allows a parent or legal guardian to confidentially surrender an infant, three days old or younger, to any hospital emergency room or designated fire station. As long as the baby has not been abused or neglected, the person may surrender the baby without fear of arrest or prosecution for child abandonment. The baby will receive needed medical treatment and be placed in adoptive care.
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