In re M.S.Annotate this Case
The Court of Appeal affirmed the juvenile court's order sustaining the allegations of a Welfare and Institutions Code section 602 petition and declaring M.S. a ward of the court. The court held that sufficient evidence existed to support the finding that M.S. committed second degree murder through the personal use of a deadly weapon. In this case, M.S. birthed a baby at home and then used a knife to cut its throat. The court rejected M.S.'s constitutional claims under the Fourth and Fifth Amendment.
The court also held that M.S. was not eligible to be considered for referral to a mental health diversion program pursuant to the newly enacted sections 1001.35 and 1001.36. The court held that the new mental health diversion law does not apply to juveniles, and even if it did, M.S.'s crime was excluded. The court held that the juvenile court imposed a rehabilitation program for M.S. that was consistent with the purposes of the juvenile law. The juvenile court considered M.S.'s psychological needs, her risk of self-harm, and her need for continued counseling, ultimately placing her into the highest level of a group home.