Julie Carey, Bill Hennessy
Emotions are running high for the parents of a 2-year-old girl who was killed when her grandmother allegedly tossed her off a parking overpass outside a shopping mall last November. On Tuesday, prosecutors presented key evidence in Carmela Dela Rosa's trial including her videotaped confession. They also brought the grieving father to the stand. (Courtroom sketches by Bill Hennessy.)
Mall security cameras are meant to capture pictures of things like shoplifting, not murders. But in the second day of Carmela dela Rosa's murder trial, the Tysons Corner Center cameras showed the grandmother toss her 2-year-old granddaughter over a six-story walkway to the pavement below.
The toddler died hours later.
The security camera recording was just one of two critical videos played for the jury today. The other was dela Rosa's confession to police.
Fairfax County detectives questioned the 50-year-old dela Rosa just hours after she threw Angelyn Ogdoc off the elevated walkway.
In the videotape statement, a dry-eyed dela Rosa sips water as she matter-of-factly tells detective Steve Needles, "I just lost it ... I just lost my mind ... I did a terrible thing."
"What did you do that was terrible?" Needles asks.
"I dropped the baby," dela Rosa responds.
"Dropped or threw?” Needles presses.
"I threw the baby," she says.
Dela Rosa is charged with murder in the Nov. 29 death of Angelyn Ogdoc. She pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
In the videotaped statement, dela Rosa goes on to talk about her motive. She says she never liked the baby's father -- James -- and resented him because her daughter became pregnant and married young, leaving the family.
Dela Rosa says when James phoned his wife as the family had dinner at Tysons that night, it triggered something. Dela Rosa tells detectives she then formed her plan to throw the baby off the walkway.
"When you picked her up, what were you thinking?" Needles asks.
"I thought about James and then I threw her," dela Rosa says.
"I don't know. Maybe because I haven't taken my medicine in a while."
Dela Rosa told detectives her mental condition had worsened in the months leading up to the incident and that she'd tried to kill herself twice.
The mall security video seemed to underscore the prosecution's contention that dela Rosa was not insane and coldly planned to kill little Angelyn. It shows dela Rosa carrying Angelyn as she and her husband, daughter and son start to leave the mall. When her husband tries to open the door for dela Rosa, she urges him to walk ahead. As soon as the family is out the door and onto the elevated walkway, dela Rosa's pace quickens and she walks to the rail and drops Angelyn over the side of the walkway. As the horrified family realizes what's happened and begins to rush to the ground, dela Rosa leans over the side of the rail.
Earlier in the day, the victim's father, James Ogdoc, took the stand and broke down, holding his face in his hands, when prosecutors showed him a photo of his little girl after she'd died at the hospital. The toddler's mother, Kat Ogdoc, watched tearfully from the front row before the judge called a recess to allow James to compose himself. James later testified he had a chilly relationship with dela Rosa but said she never directly expressed her hatred.
The testimony was too much for one juror. Visibly distraught and shaking, she was excused from her service.