Sanchia Xavier-Velez gave birth to her daughter, Jazmyne Rayne Gowers-Velez, at home in early November. Ms. Xavier-Velez brought the infant’s body to the hospital the next morning, and reported to authorities that she gave birth to the child in a toilet, and that the child was stillborn. But police suspected that the child had been a victim of foul play.
A doctor has examined the child and found that she was breathing before she died and that she had water in her lungs – both indications that the child died by drowning. Ms. Xavier-Velez, who also has a seven year old daughter, has been arrested and charged with first degree murder and aggravated child abuse. She is being held without bond in the Orange County jail. Her seven year old has been placed in the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
In Florida and other States, a person, who is charged with a crime, is entitled to defend herself from the charges with legal representation by a private criminal defense attorney or, in the alternative, the public defender. Whenever there are medical issues involved, cases of this nature can be quite complicated especially when each side presents competent testimony from expert witnesses and medical providers.