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.
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