Judge declares mother 'insane' in drowning incident
by Nick Rappley | Patterson Irrigator
Dec 10, 2012 | 2404 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jennifer Bigham's DMV photo
Jennifer Bigham's DMV photo
A Stanislaus County Superior Court judge ruled Friday, Dec. 7 that Castro Valley resident Jennifer Lynn Bigham, 25, was insane and therefore not guilty of drowning her young daughter in a bathtub at a Patterson home Jan. 14, 2010.

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Thomas Zeff scheduled another court hearing for 8:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14, as prosecuting and defense attorneys wrestle with whether Bigham should be released.

Stanislaus County Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley said by phone Monday, Dec. 10 it was not clear whether Bigham should go free, get more treatment or undergo further mental evaluation to determine her current mental state.

According to the state Office of Health Information Integrity website, when someone is found insane while committing an offense, the court must order the defendant to be confined to a state hospital or similar facility or placed on outpatient status.

The California Office of Health Information Integrity is a state agency that focuses on advancing health information electronically to make that data available for patients.

Bigham and her 3-year-old daughter Alexandrea, both originally from the Hayward area, were visiting family members in Patterson at a Thrush Drive home the incident occurred.

Bigham was treated at a Modesto hospital for superficial, self-inflicted stab wounds to her chest the night of the incident and released into custody the next day.

Emergency crews responded to reports at about 6 p.m. the night of Alexandrea’s drowning.

Paramedics arrived and administered CPR, and the girl was flown by helicopter to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, according to sheriff’s officials. Doctors continued to attempt life-saving measures on the girl at the hospital, but she died at 9:50 p.m.

• Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, or nick@pattersonirrigator.com.

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