Mother accused of killing 3 children appears in LA court – San Bernardino Sun

A Reseda woman charged with murdering her three young children last year appeared Monday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

Liliana Carrillo, 30, wearing a yellow inmate jumpsuit, hid from view behind her attorneys inside the defendant holding area of the Criminal Justice Center courtroom, while the father of her children and his family looked on from the gallery.

Carrillo declined to enter a plea to the three murder charges filed against her in the April 10, 2021 deaths of 3-year-old Joanna, 2-year-old Terry, and 6-month-old Sierra.

“Yes, ma’am,” Carrillo said when asked by Judge Victoria B. Wilson if she was waiving her right to a speedy trial.

Monday’s hearing played out just like the last six hearings. Prosecutors have sought to arraign Carrillo since August 2021.

She has been in custody in Los Angeles County since April 2021, when she was arrested in Ponderosa, California near the Sierras, after she apparently attempted to carjack a man in Kern County as she fled from the L.A. area.

The carjacking charges are still open in Kern County, according to court records. But her case has been transferred to L.A. County. She’s being held on just over $6 million bail.

It’s unclear from court records why Carrillo’s case is taking so long, though mental health issues may be playing a role. Cases involving defendants with apparent mental health issues typically take far longer to sort out as judges and defense attorneys determine whether defendants understand the charges they’re facing.

Erik Denton, the children’s father, and his family repeatedly alerted L.A. County child services officials and police to Carrillo’s severe mental health issues leading up to the killings. In court documents, Denton said Carrillo had suffered worsening mental health for years before her condition notably deteriorated in February 2021.

“She is not taking care of herself and has lost touch with reality,” Denton wrote in court documents as he attempted to get the children back from Carrillo in March 2021. “She is extremely paranoid and acts impulsively and erratically.”

After her arrest, Carrillo admitted in a jailhouse interview with KGET in Bakersfield to drowning the children in a bathtub.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Carrillo was receiving mental health treatment at the Century Regional Detention Facility where she’s being held. A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department commander at the jail said they would not disclose whether Carrillo is receiving mental health treatment.

Court records do not show if her attorneys have yet declared a doubt about Carrillo’s mental health and ability to understand the proceedings.

Deputy District Attorney David Zygielbaum declined to comment on the case Monday. Defense attorneys for Carrillo were not immediately available for comment.

About a half-dozen family members of Denton appeared with him Monday, all wearing matching black T-shirts bearing a photo of Denton with the children and their names.

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