Jury gets case of California mom accused of murder

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Associated Press

Posted on October 7, 2009 at 7:11 PM

VISALIA, Calif. (AP) — Jurors have begun determining the fate of a California mother accused of abandoning three of her newborn babies.

The jury in the Tulare County trial of Nancy Ortiz began deliberating Wednesday afternoon after closing arguments were completed.

The 24-year-old Orosi woman is charged with murder and child endangerment after her youngest child was found frozen to death in a neighbor's truck in December 2006. She has pleaded not guilty.

During the trial, Ortiz took the stand on her own behalf. She told jurors that after giving birth, she placed her baby girl in the truck hoping the infant would enjoy a better life than what she could provide.

Prosecutors say Ortiz had a methamphetamine habit and risked killing two other children, who also were abandoned and found alive.

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