Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ethiopian Mother Zewoinesh Badasso accused of beating, strangling and throwing her baby out the window

Zewoinesh Badasso appeared at her arraignment and was assisted by an interpreter on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.
Zewoinesh Badasso wasn't aware her son had died according to defense attorney
A San Diego mother was opening a third-story window while holding her baby when the boy fell to his death, according to the woman’s attorney.

However, prosecutors allege the baby, identified in court records as David N., had been strangled and beaten before he was found by a stranger on the ground outside his home.

Zewoinesh Badasso, 32, of North Park, faces first-degree murder in the death of her 7-month-old son.

Deputy District Attorney Nicole Rooney said the medical examiner determined that David had been strangled and had found ligature marks on the boy's neck, and other injuries that showed he had been beaten.

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"Upon autopsy, the medical examiner noticed severe markings around the neck. The cause of death was determined to be strangulation. There were additional injuries, pattern injuries around the face and neck, which do indicate some sort of beating," said Rooney.

She requested a $2 million bail which the judge approved.

Badasso's attorney, Amy McDonald, said her client was in custody when told of David’s death and appeared to be shocked and saddened.

A citizen called San Diego police Friday after finding the baby on the ground below a unit inside Park View Apartments on 39th Street.

When officers arrived, they found David suffering from severe injuries. Medics administered CPR and transported the infant to Rady Children’s Hospital. By 5:50 p.m., the boy had died, police said.

Badasso was inside the apartment when officers arrived. She was questioned at the scene and later arrested as a suspect.

During a visit at Las Colinas Jail, Badasso asked about the welfare of her son and was unaware the baby had died according to McDonald.

The apartment window did not have a screen or bars on it at the time of the baby’s fall the defense attorney said.

Badasso, who's originally from Ethiopia, has been in the U.S. for about 12 years under a sponsorship by a Catholic Charity. She did not know the three men who also live in the Normal Heights apartment, because she was placed there to live.

The child was the product of a rape that occurred a year ago in Las Vegas, according to Badasso’s attorney.

On Wednesday night, a mini makeshift memorial that included flowers and a plush rabbit could be seen in the alley where David was found.

Neighbors at the apartment complex were still trying to make sense of how and why this happened to a 7-month-old infant.

“I mean this…. I never heard that baby cry so I can't imagine it was getting on her nerves. It could be post- partum depression. I have no idea,” said neighbor Lisa Biddle.