Doctor's Evaluation Still Pending for Mother Accused of Killing Child

Veva Virgil, 39, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity for allegedly smothering her young daughter more than two years ago.

The psychiatric review of a 39-year-old Aptos mother accused of killing her young daughter in a Watsonville motel room in November 2008 is not complete, attorneys reported at Veva Virgil's court appearance Thursday.

Virgil has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to one count of murder and one count of assault on a child causing death for allegedly smothering 3½-year-old Isabella Grace Martinez.

The court-ordered mental health evaluation was commissioned in March of last year. To date, Dr. Jeff Gould has reviewed the "voluminous" case file, interviewed Virgil and spoken with several other people involved in her life, according to Assistant District Attorney Ross Taylor, who is prosecuting the case.

Virgil was arrested by at a San Jose hospital hours after a maid found her daughter’s body under a bed sheet in a room at the on Silverleaf Drive. She told medical staff at the hospital that she sent her daughter to heaven and wanted to be euthanized, according to testimony heard during her preliminary hearing.

Virgil has a history of mental illness, according to her supporters and her court-appointed attorney, Maya Nordberg.

In court Thursday, Virgil sat in the far corner of the jury box, dressed in jail-issue red clothes. She shielded her face with her long, brunette hair. She spoke quietly with her attorney.

At issue is if Virgil was sane when she allegedly killed Isabella. Her competency to stand trial—whether she can aid in her own defense—must also be decided.

Outside of court, Taylor said the information he's reviewed "appear to support the conclusion that she was sane."

In court, Nordberg stated the defense may seek another medical review, depending on the outcome of Gould's evaluation. Gould, as a court-appointed examiner, is supposed to deliver a neutral report. Either the defense or the prosecution could later hire another expert witness for a second evaluation.

Judge Paul Burdick told both attorneys to help Gould contact any other witnesses he needs to interview so the report could be expedited.

Virgil will return to court April 5, at which time Gould's report is expected to be presented.

lola April 02, 2011 at 04:25 AM
Anyone really crazy or remorseful wouldn't care if they got off after a heinous crime against a child like that. They would want to be locked up or dead. And not euthanize me comfortably dead, no, a slow agonizing tortured death like the one this little girl suffered. Lock her up with all the other cold blooded killers where she belongs. Dope was the choice this looser made. End of story.
Tiffany April 06, 2011 at 10:59 PM
If memory serves me correctly, she DID asked to be euthanized... mixing drugs and mental illness is dangerous indeed. That poor little Isabella, she had nobody in her corner. Plenty of people PRETENDING to care, but they ALL let her down when it came down to it. It is truly sickening though that some people have gone on a quest for personal pity and attention on the life blood of this little soul. Because anyone that wasn't crazy or a sociopath would see the tragedy for the ALL in this, instead of a way to get her name and made up information designed for accolades and pity out, don't ya think? Let her rest in PEACE, seems notoriety is the choice of another "LOOSER" . She was doomed in many different ways, just so sad. Be thankful you don't hear voices, although then you could carry on a conversation by yourself as judge, jury & executioner, wait you already do! Now THAT is the end of story!
cassia collier May 05, 2011 at 12:53 PM
I knew Viva and Issabella she was my neice not Viva I have no relationto her except through Isabella who was a vivacious beautiful child that I loved very much and will miss forever. my daughters will never know why they will not be playing with their cousin Bella . I dont believe Viva is insane I believe she is a selfish Immature junky whore ...but thats just the side of her charactor I witnessed ,I never liked her but gave her as much of a chance to prove my intuitions wrong , I really wished she would have . she is not insane just stupid and of low moral value....Cassia
Toni October 13, 2011 at 03:29 AM
Sadly I am related to Veva and she stayed in my home for a short time many years ago. As a promise I made to her dying grandfather, I searched for her. When I found her in jail in San Francisco, I thought I could help her recover from heroin use and prostitution. She left her husband and son in San Francisco and went to Sacramento with me. She stole from me and brought unsavory people to my home. Her grandfather left her some money and I helped her get her an apartment in Sacramento. It wasn't long before her money was gone and she went back to her old life in San Francisco. I never heard from her again but I must agree that she was a selfish person. I never considered her mentally ill - however she was very manipulative and never seemed to appreciate any help that anyone gave her. She needs to stay in jail.


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