Wednesday, April 24, 2013

New York v. Ortega #05112/2012 "The Nanny Case"

In the “criminal law world” we hear about so many violent cases that sometimes they blur together. But a case from 2012 in New York City is certainly one of the worst. Nanny Yoselyn Ortega cared for a family of three children for two years prior to October 2012. She was so close to the family that they went and stayed with her family in the Dominican Republic several months prior to the incident. Then, on October 25, 2012, without warning, Ortega stabbed the six year old daughter and two year old son to death in the bathroom of the New York apartment in which she cared for them. Their mother returned home from a swim lesson with her middle child, to find her two children bleeding to death in the bathroom. Ortega proceeded to stab herself in the throat.

In November 2012, Ortega was indicted on charges of first and second degree murder and has pled not guilty. The defense initially requested a mental evaluation and the court found her “fit to stand trial.” This means Ortega is mentally capable and aware of what is going on. Two appointed psychiatrists evaluated her and her medical records, and found that she can participate and assist in her legal defense in a meaningful way. Ortega’s attorney said she would be contesting that finding at the next hearing in May. Ortega faces life in prison for the two murders if she is convicted.

On many levels this case hits close to home- as a mother, a former district attorney, and victim right's attorney. The judicial process can be lengthy and frustrating, particularly when one has never dealt with, or been a part of it. My heart breaks for these parents. Yet in the face of such darkness, they continue to be completely inspiring. They started the Lulu & Leo Fund in honor of their deceased children’s love of the arts & sciences. Please visit the Lulu & Leo Fund website to learn more.

Juvenile Law updates - Orange County California Law Offices of Katie Walsh 714-619-9355
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