Mother Convicted of Killing Her Daughter

A Canoga Park woman who twice lost custody of her children after allegations of abuse was convicted Friday of killing her 19-month-old daughter during a two-month custody tryout.

A jury found that Maria Sabina Barajas received enough counseling after previous allegations of abuse to know that shaking her daughter, Marisela, would hurt the child.

Last June, Barajas shook the little girl so hard her eyes and brain bled, then slammed the toddler against something hard enough to fatally crack her skull.

Barajas, 30, bowed her head as jurors returned to the courtroom.

She sat motionless as a Spanish interpreter relayed the jury's finding, then tears began streaming down her face.

She faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Peter Korn said frustration over repeated misbehavior by the child, including knocking over a fan, ripping apart a videotape and playing with water in a toilet, led Barajas to shake her daughter hard enough to kill her.

Barajas first told authorities that the girl fell down a flight of stairs.

When confronted with numerous bruises that covered the girl's body, she admitted to having "lost patience" with the toddler and slapped and shaken her, Korn said, but still said the fatal injury happened when the girl fell.

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