|For Immediate Release
Case # 11WF2758
May 3, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MOTHER ORDERED TO SERVE ONE YEAR IN JAIL FOR SUFFOCATION-DEATH OF 2-MONTH-OLD BABY AFTER MULTI-HOUR HALLOWEEN DRINKING BINGE
*The OCDA objected to the sentence, arguing for a state prison term
WESTMINSTER – A mother was convicted today for killing her 2-month-old baby by allowing him to suffocate in a pile of clothes after a multi-hour drinking binge on Halloween. Corrina Atuatasi, 27, Garden Grove, pleaded guilty to a court offer to one felony count of involuntary manslaughter by lawful act in unlawful manner, one felony count of child abuse, and a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury to a child under 5.
The maximum sentence for these charges is 12 years in state prison, but the Court ordered the defendant to serve one year in jail. Upon completion of the year in jail, Atuatasi is expected to be formally sentenced Nov. 27, 2012, to an additional six months in a live-in alcohol treatment program and one year of a self-help program. This sentence is over the objection of the People and the recommendation of a state prison sentence by the Orange County Probation Department (OCPD).
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office argued that the defendant should be sentenced to state prison based on the seriousness of the crime and the fact that the defendant had endangered the lives of her children on prior occasions due to her intoxication.
On the night of Oct. 30, 2011, the defendant was solely responsible for the care of her 2-month-old baby Aiden Galeai while her husband and 2-year-old daughter were away visiting family. Atuatasi left the infant alone in her Garden Grove apartment and went outside into the courtyard to smoke a cigarette.
While outside smoking, the defendant ran into a male neighbor and joined him and his two friends for drinks in the neighbor’s apartment. She left baby Aiden alone in her apartment while she consumed alcohol in another apartment. The defendant returned to her apartment a short while later, placed the victim in a car seat, and returned with the baby to her neighbor’s apartment. She left the baby in a bedroom for several hours as she continued drinking with the three men.
At approximately 4:00 a.m. on Oct. 31, 2011, Atuatasi returned home to her apartment with baby Aiden. She was severely intoxicated and failed to ensure the health and safety of her baby. She neglected the infant, who ended up face-down in a pile of clothing. It is unclear if the baby was dropped on the pile as the defendant returned home or kicked off the bed into the pile by the defendant as she slept. Atuatasi killed baby Aiden, who suffocated to death.