A Fairfax County woman who tossed her 2-year-old granddaughter over the edge of a 44-foot mall walkway was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder, and a jury recommended a sentence of 35 years in prison.
Carmela dela Rosa, 50, had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Dela Rosa and her family were on an outing at Tysons Corner Center last November when dela Rosa suddenly picked up Angelyn Ogdoc and threw the toddler off a bridge connecting the mall and a parking garage.
Prosecutors had argued that dela Rosa was driven to kill Angelyn by an unremitting anger for the girl's father, James Ogdoc, who had gotten dela Rosa's daughter, Kathlyn Ogdoc, pregnant out of wedlock.
Deputy Public Defender Dawn Butorac countered that dela Rosa’s mental health had deteriorated badly in the months leading up to Angelyn’s killing and said that she could not fully comprehend what she was doing on the evening of Nov. 29, 2010.
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The horrific killing was captured by a mall surveillance camera and dela Rosa admitted in a videotaped interview with Fairfax County detectives that she did it out of anger at James Ogdoc, according to testimony.
During the seven-day trial in Fairfax County Circuit Court, jurors heard competing testimony from prosecution and defense psychologists, who came to differing conclusions about dela Rosa’s mental state.
Michael Hendricks, a clinical psychologist called by the defense, testified that 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 crime.
But another clinical psychologist called by the prosecution, Stanton Samenow, told jurors that dela Rosa was not suffering from psychosis. Samenow said dela Rosa suffered from borderline personality disorder and said she was “angry, uncompromising, unforgiving and difficult.”
This post has been updated.