City Heights mother gets 25 years to life for shaking infant to death

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A mother of six who beat, kicked and shook her 9-month-old son, resulting in his death, was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years to life in state prison.

Judge Amalia Meza denied probation for 35-year-old Guadalupe O’Campos, saying the defendant knew she couldn’t take out her aggression on her children.

Child Protective Services had been to the O’Campos home in City Heights before, the judge said.

"She hurt Kevin when no one was watching," Meza said, noting the defendant’s delay in seeking medical treatment for the infant was fatal.

"The baby died at the hands of his mother," the judge said before handing down the life sentence.

Meza said O’Campos failed to recognize her wrongdoing and could be a danger to her other children. She also lacked remorse for her actions, the judge said.

"I never did what I was charged with," O’Campos told the judge. "God knows it was an accident."

O’Campos was convicted in a retrial of a charge of assault on a child causing death. A different jury acquitted the defendant of murder in her first trial.

Deputy District Attorney Nicole Rooney told the jury in second trial that the defendant’s son, Kevin Machado, was the victim of violent shaking on Sept. 5, 2013.

There were seven separate impact sites on the boy’s head, and he was not injured as a result of falling off the bed, as O’Campos claimed, according to the prosecutor. Experts noted the baby’s injuries were inflicted either by impact or by shaking, Rooney said.

The defendant’s 16-year-old daughter from a previous marriage was in the bathroom when she heard a “thump” and heard her mother screaming, "My baby’s dying," Rooney told the jury.

The prosecutor said O’Campos manipulated her husband on what to say to police, telling him, "Remember, we were both there."

Deputy Public Defender Patrick McCoy told the jury that a couple of days before the child’s death, he had fallen between the bed and the closet.

The baby seemed OK, so his parents decided not to take him to the hospital, McCoy said.

On Sept. 5, 2013, the baby was fussy so his parents decided to put him in the middle of the bed before the “thud” was heard, the defense attorney said.

The baby was not responsive and O’Campos went to a neighbor’s house, where a 911 call was made, McCoy said.

O’Campos was not charged until a year later. She will be deported to Mexico when she gets out of prison, according to McCoy. 

Categories: Local San Diego News