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Psych Report Delayed, Again, for Mother Accused in Daughter's Death

Veva Virgil will be back in court in June to set dates for her homicide trial.

The case against an Aptos mother accused of smothering her young daughter in Watsonville motel room three and a half years ago continues to shuffle through the judicial process.

Veva Virgil, now 40, has been in jail since shortly after she allegedly killed 3½-year-old Isabella Grace Martinez in November 2008. 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 Isabella.

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.

The process of assessing Virgil's sanity has been long and drawn out. In total, three mental health evaluations will be completed in the case, Judge Paul Burdick said in court Tuesday. Two other experts have already submitted their opinions to the court.

"Dr. Green's report is the final evaluation," Burdick said. "We will set dates after we have this report."

Virgil faces life in prison if convicted.

Isabella was found dead in a room at Motel 6 on Silver Leaf Drive in November 2008. Virgil was arrested by Watsonville police at a San Jose hospital, where she had fled and reportedly told staff she sent her baby to heaven, according to court records. She also asked to be euthanized, records showed.

Virgil has a history of mental illness, her attorney and supporters have said. She also has had drug problems in the past, according to court records.

In court Tuesday, she was dressed in red jail-issue clothes and looked visibly healthier than the gaunt, shaky woman she appeared to be during earlier court hearings.

Virgil returns to court June 12 to set dates for her trial.

Jennifer Squires April 24, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Isabella's death impacted so many people in the community. It's crazy to realize this case has been going on now for the same number of years the girl lived.
Angelarosa Clemens September 24, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Its been a few rough years. I am Vevas yougest sister and my daughter was the same age as Bella at the time I never got to meet my niece but over the phone but she was my family. It hurts and is frustrating that this happened. Yes I am upset with my sister for this. I dont hate her but I dont want nothing to do with her cause of it. She has hurt me in many ways for what she did to my beloved niece Bella. I miss my sister and her daughter. May you rest in peace Little Bella. .
Jennifer Squires September 24, 2012 at 07:06 PM
So sorry you've had to endure this. You aren't alone in mourning Bella; her death was so hard on so many people in Santa Cruz County, even though most had never met her.
Amanda Snodgrass November 25, 2012 at 12:11 AM
I had the pleasure of knowing Veva. We lived together at the Sienna House where we had our children. She was so precious with Bella. I know she would of never harmed that baby on purpose. To she her with Bella and the way she talked about a family with this man Eichard. It's what she and been waiting on. Please have mercy on her sickness. And keep open arms.
kelly December 19, 2012 at 03:13 AM
I am Veva's closest friend and Isabella's foster mom.....Veva has always had a cruel hard streak in her heart and I saw signs of abuse all along..veva is so manipulative she covered her tracks..i stayed as close as possible because my love of Isabella. Veva is a cold blooded killer that has no maternal instinct..it's fake. She abandoned all 3 of her other children and this was just #4 where something snapped under the pressure of actually parenting past infant stage. She needs to go to prison.
kelly December 19, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Veva is a sociopath..no ones fault but she is limited in her ability to care. She knows how to act like people think she is supposed to but her feelings do not extend beyond her own pain. Extreme abuse as a child is no excuse to grow up and repeat the cruelty and abandonment she inflicts on others. Everyone near Veva pays but Veva.

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