SANTA CRUZ - A trial date of Oct. 28 was set Tuesday for Veva Virgil, more than three years after her young daughter was smothered to death in a Watsonville motel room.
Virgil, 41, of Aptos has pleaded not guilty be reason of insanity to killing 3-year-old Isabella Grace Martinez.
A third psychiatric report was recently completed, sparking scheduling of trial.
Judge Timothy Volkmann questioned why trial could not be done sooner, but prosecutor Ross Taylor said it was largely because public defender Allen Cave was recently assigned the case. Maya Nordberg, Virgil's previous attorney, has left Biggam, Christensen & Minsloff, the firm that contracts with the county to provide public defender services.
Outside court, Ross declined to comment on the psychiatric reports.
Virgil was arrested after driving to Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose and reportedly telling hospital staff she had sent her baby to heaven and wanted to be killed. She has a history of mental health problems and had resumed use of methamphetamine when she celebrated her birthday about a month earlier, according to the court records.
Virgil, who has long dark hair and has gained weight since her arrest, conferred with her attorney in court and calmly answered yes when the judge asked if the trial date was acceptable to her.
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