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Jury to deliberate after defense, prosecution rest in case about newborn's murder

Elvira Farias

Elvira Farias as pictured in a 2016 file photo.

A jury began deliberation Wednesday after the prosecution and defense delivered closing arguments in the trial for a Shafter woman accused of killing her baby six years ago.

Elvira Farias stands charged with first-degree murder and assault leading to the death of a child younger than 8, as a result of the 2015 death of her newborn child.

Deputy District Attorney John Allen said Farias acted with intent and deliberation to kill her newborn son, while displaying images of the baby’s injuries. A pathologist had testified earlier that the newborn suffered from a cracked skull, several cracked ribs, strangulation and either a finger or object shoved into his mouth.

Allen said the multiple injuries proves the “cold,” “calculated’’ and “deliberate” actions by Farias. A singular action did not result in her child’s death, he added.

“This has been a very difficult (and) … emotional case,” said public defender Kevin Moran. However, he implored the jury to cast away their “passions” and “emotions” and examine the holes within the prosecution’s evidence.

Moran said gaps exist within the timeline from his client’s baby’s birth to the discovery of the deceased baby by first responders. Farias was released from Mary K. Shell Mental Health Center on the morning of June 18, 2015, while she was still pregnant. She was not with the child at 2 p.m. June 19, he added.

The baby was then found at 5:38 p.m. on June 19, Moran said. Within these timeframes, every movement by Farias was not accounted for by the prosecution, he added.

It would be hard to imagine why Farias would assault and choke a baby near a fire station, Moran added.

Allen said Moran’s assertions are “ridiculous” and asked the jury to consider the chances of a random stranger killing the baby.

“This is not a real conclusion,” Allen said.

The case has gone to the jury, and deliberations are scheduled to resume today.

You can reach Ishani Desai at 661-395-7417. You can also follow her at @idesai98 on Twitter.