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Posted at 08:43 AM ET, 10/05/2011

Closing arguments in Fairfax grandmother’s murder trial expected Wednesday

Update, 4 p.m. Oct. 6: Dela Rosa has been convicted of first-degree murder.


Carmela dela Rosa.

Updated, 1:45 p.m.

A Fairfax County woman was sane when she threw her 2-year-old granddaughter off a mall walkway last November, a clinical psychologist testified at her murder trial Wednesday.

Stanton Samenow said Carmela dela Rosa, 50, of Fairfax, was “devastated” little Angelyn Ogdoc was born out of wedlock. Dela Rosa blamed the girl’s father, James Ogdoc, for getting her daughter, Kathlyn, pregnant.

“This anger and sense of betrayal lasted indefinitely,” Samenow testified. “It didn’t go away.”

The Post’s Katie Rogers is live tweeting from the trial. Read more of the story below.

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh has argued that dela Rosa killed Angelyn to get back at James Ogdoc. Dela Rosa has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Samenow’s testimony directly rebuts a defense clinical psychologist, who said Tuesday that dela Rosa was criminally insane at the time of the Nov. 29, 2010 killing. He said dela Rosa suffered from a major depressive disorder with psychotic features and didn’t fully comprehend what she was doing when she dropped Angelyn off the 44-foot walkway between Tysons Corner Center and a parking garage.

When asked if dela Rosa was suffering from psychosis, Samenow was succinct: “Absolutely not,” he said.

Instead, Samenow testified dela Rosa suffered from borderline personality disorder, but also said during cross examination that she suffered from a major depressive disorder.

Dela Rosa was “angry, uncompromising, unforgiving and difficult” and had alienated members of her family, including her son David, Samenow testified. In 2005, Samenow said dela Rosa pulled a knife on her husband, Leandro, because she wanted him to stay home from work to be with her.

Samenow testified family members told him dela Rosa had endangered the family financially by spending heavily at the Disney Store and other shops.

When dela Rosa found out her daughter was pregnant, she shut herself in her room and said the rosary, Samenow testified. Dela Rosa had wanted Kathlyn to “finish school and see the world,” Samenow testified.

“She felt her daughter had died,” Samenow said.

Attorneys must show a mental health problem kept the defendant from understanding the nature, character and consequences of a crime or that the defendant was unable to distinguish right from wrong.

Deputy Public Defender Dawn Butorac sharply questioned Samenow during cross examination.

Clearly, he’s a biased witness,” Butorac told the judge at one point.

Original Post:

A jury could hear closing arguments Wednesday in the murder trial of a Fairfax County woman accused of dropping her 2-year-old granddaughter off a 44-foot walkway at Tysons Corner Center last November.

Starkly different portraits of 50-year-old Carmela dela Rosa are expected as Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Morrogh and Deputy Public Defender Dawn Butorac present arguments in a Fairfax County courtroom.

Morrogh has said in court that Dela Rosa plotted to kill 2-year-old Angelyn Ogdoc to punish the girl’s father, James Ogdoc, who had gotten Dela Rosa’s daughter, Kathlyn Ogdoc, pregnant out of wedlock. He said she was driven by “anger, hatred and revenge.”

Butorac has countered that dela Rosa’s mental health had deteriorated badly in the months leading up to Angelyn’s killing and dela Rosa could not fully comprehend what she was doing on the evening of November 29, 2010.

Dela Rosa, of Fairfax, is charged with murder and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Some of the strongest testimony for the defense came Tuesday from clinical psychologist Michael Hendricks, who said dela Rosa suffered from a major depressive disorder with psychotic features that clouded her thinking so much she was legally insane at the time of the incident.

Hendricks testified that the bout of depression that gripped dela Rosa beginning in the summer of 2010 was “considerably worse” than any she had experienced before. Dela Rosa tried to commit suicide by slashing her wrists, swallowing 75 pills and sending her minivan careening over the side of Skyline Drive near Front Royal.

“I am sorry, so sorry, for all the wrong I have done,” Dela Rosa wrote in a crumpled note left at the scene of the accident. “From the bottom of my heart, I love you all.”

The week before Angelyn’s killing, some of dela Rosa’s family traveled to Ocean City for a getaway. Dela Rosa stayed behind barely eating, going out or showering, Hendricks testified.

When the family returned, dela Rosa seemed to be in better spirits, so they decided to go to dinner at Tysons Corner Center. At the mall, Hendricks said dela Rosa became fixated on thinking about Kathlyn’s marriage to James Ogdoc and her daughter having a baby out of wedlock. As her family ate ice cream, Hendrix said dela Rosa had “delusion-like” thoughts that her family was communicating without including her.

Hendricks said dela Rosa saw hurting Angelyn as a way to get back at James Ogdoc, but she couldn’t grasp the consequences of her actions as she lifted her granddaughter over the railing on the walkway between the mall and a parking garage.

“What I find remarkable is that she said she hadn’t intended to hurt Angelyn,” Hendrix said. “That was the state of her thought at the time. She didn’t understand what she was doing.”

By  |  08:43 AM ET, 10/05/2011

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