Mom of dead baby given more time

A deputy public defender Thursday was granted a continuance in the murder case of Jessica Mae Betts, the 19-year-old woman charged with first-degree murder after her newborn girl was found in a trash bin in Turlock.

Sonny Sandhu, who is representing Betts, asked Superior Court Judge Donald Shaver for time for two experts to review medical reports. Betts will return to court Aug. 24 to set a date for a preliminary hearing, where a judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to go to trial.

Betts told police she delivered a baby in the bathroom of her boyfriend's house in Turlock on Nov. 8, wrapped the newborn in a pair of purple sweat pants and a towel, and drove to a supermarket, where she cried as her baby's breathing slowed and then stopped, according to search warrant documents.

Betts told detectives she didn't know how the newborn got into the Dumpster. Betts has pleaded not guilty. She is in custody at the Public Safety Center in Modesto with bail set at $1 million.

— Merrill Balassone