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Woman who killed baby accused of stabbing mom

AP News
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Posted: Oct 19, 2011 3:11 AM
Woman who killed baby accused of stabbing mom

A woman who killed her baby 25 years ago by throwing her into San Diego Bay was due to appear in court on new allegations that she repeatedly stabbed her 86-year-old mother in the face, a newspaper reported.

Lorenza Delgadillo Penguelly, 51, was booked Monday on suspicion of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune ( http://bit.ly/rjUp7X).

Penguelly was being held without bail and was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday. It wasn't immediately clear whether she had an attorney.

Authorities alleged Penguelly stabbed her mother in the face eight times Monday and also cut her arms and hands. The mother was taken to a hospital and was expected to recover.

When Penguelly was 26 years old in 1986, she drowned her 5-month-old daughter by throwing her in the bay, police said.

"She didn't make any cry when I threw her in the water. She floated and moved her little arms," Penguelly said according to court records cited by the newspaper.

The day before the crime, Penguelly had been seen at the Grape Street Pier trying to give away the infant.

The baby's body was found by a 14-year-old who thought it was a doll, according to news reports at the time. The baby's identity wasn't then known.

Penguelly was arrested a month later in Santa Monica after she attacked her uncle, who kept asking her where her daughter was, police said.

She then admitted that she threw the baby in the bay was returned to San Diego to face a possible life sentence on a murder charge.

Her attorneys argued that she was suffering from postpartum psychosis, a rare maternal psychiatric disorder that can prompt mothers to kill. She pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, was sentenced to six years in prison and sent to Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County for psychiatric treatment.

At the sentencing, Superior Court Judge Wayne Peterson said society had failed Penguelly and her baby by not making adequate mental health resources available. He said he was concerned that Penguelly "not be given another opportunity to act out and place another child at risk."

Penguelly's illness had become more pronounced in recent months, family members said.