- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 6, 2001

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) Two Virginia teen-agers who left their newborn daughter to die in a portable toilet in Delaware pleaded guilty yesterday to manslaughter.
Jose Ocampo, 19, of Chantilly and Abigail Caliboso, 20, of Woodbridge, each received eight years in prison with four years suspended.
New Castle County Superior Court Judge Carl Goldstein fined the two $12,500 each and ordered them to perform 300 hours of community service. They also must undergo mental health evaluations.
Prosecutor James Apostolico said he was pleased with the outcome.
"Hopefully, the sentences will send a message to the community that this conduct will not be tolerated and will be punished very severely," he said.
Mr. Apostolico said he hoped the state's new "Safe Arms for Babies" legislation, which allows abandonment of babies to health caregivers, will help prevent similar situations.
"Hopefully, incidents like this will never happen again in Delaware," he said.
Ocampo defense attorney Kathleen Jennings and Caliboso defense attorney Eugene Maurer Jr. were not immediately available for comment yesterday.
Ocampo and Caliboso pleaded guilty to manslaughter a year ago under an agreement that recommended five-year prison terms. Prosecutors withdrew from the plea after a judge rejected the recommended prison terms as too harsh.
The two were scheduled to stand trial this month on charges of murder by neglect, which carries a minimum 10-year prison term.
Mr. Apostolico said prosecutors decided to extend another plea offer after considering mitigating factors in the case, including the defendants' remorse and the fact that they had no prior criminal records.
"The truth of the matter is that they are still responsible for the death of this child and had to be punished severely," he said.
The judge ordered Ocampo to report to prison Jan. 2. Caliboso has been in Baylor Women's Correctional Center since March 12 and will be given credit for time served, a court official said.
Caliboso was a freshman at James Madison University in March 2000, when she gave birth in a Virginia motel room to an 8-pound girl she named Angel.
Caliboso breast-fed the baby as she and Ocampo, a high school senior at the time, drove to Delaware, where they left the girl at a construction site near Bear, prosecutors said. A construction worker found the baby dead the next day.
In previous court proceedings, defense attorneys said the couple were afraid to tell their families about the baby because of their Roman Catholic upbringings. They said the couple expected someone to find the baby alive after they left her at the construction site.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide