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Beant Dhillon waits now as jury deliberates over case of drowned infant

Suspects in Newborn's Death: Beant Kaur Dhillon, Jagsir Singh, Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann
Posted at 3:46 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 00:52:17-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Beant Dhillon, who is accused of drowning her infant grandson two years ago, is now waiting to find out if a jury will convict her.

The closing arguments concluded Tuesday afternoon after nearly a month of testimony. Dhillon is facing charges of first-degree murder and two assault charges: one in connection with the baby’s death and the other for failing to get her daughter medical care.

Dhillon is accused of drowning her own grandson that evening, just hours after he was born on Nov. 12, 2018. Her daughter testified that she hid her pregnancy from her parents and gave birth alone in a bathtub in the family's home. During the trial, Dhillon's daughter testified that she does not know what happened that night after she gave birth and did not find out about the infant's death until months later.

During an interview with police back in 2019, Dhillon confessed to drowning the infant. She told police that after, her husband and nephew buried the baby in the backyard.

Dhillon testified during the trial that her confession to the police was in fact false. She said that she confessed to killing the baby in order to protect her nephew, Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann, who was also the infant's father according to Dhillon's daughter.

According to police reports, Dhillon confessed to drowning the infant in order to "prevent family shame." Prosecutor John Allen argued that Dhillon's testimony about what happened that evening didn't match up to what she told police happened years ago.

Dhillon testified that her main focus that evening was her daughter's well-being. Allen argued that Dhillon, a certified nursing assistant, would have had the knowledge and experience to help care for her daughter and the infant when she found them. Instead, it was out of fear and shame of her daughter's pregnancy that Dhillon decided to drown the baby, Allen argued.

Defense attorney David A. Torres argued that there are a number of different ways the infant could have died, but we simply don't know.

Torres hinted during the trial that while Dhillon was caring for her daughter that night, Dhillon's nephew, Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann, was left alone with the infant. Mann was in the country illegally and has been missing ever since the infant's body was found.

Torres also suggested there were a number of ways the baby could have died during the birth given that birth was at home without any medical assistance or care. Last week Torres called Memorial Hospital Chief Medical Officer Rodney Root to the stand to testify to the ways the infant could have died, including bleeding out due to an unclamped umbilical cord.

Dhillon's daughter gave birth at the age of 15 in the family's Southwest Bakersfield home in the 5200 block of Shining Crag Avenue. Mann had told her the baby had been given up for adoption but she found out that the baby was dead and buried in the backyard. That's when she reported the pregnancy to a school counselor.

Police exhumed the body Feb. 26, 2019, and arrested Dhillon and her husband, Jagsir Singh. Singh posted his bail and in March of 2019 he hanged himself in the family's home.

If Dhillon is convicted, she faces up to up to life in prison.