Murder Charge

San Diego Parents Plead Not Guilty to Murder Charge in Infant's Death

The 22-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man are accused of first-degree murder in the death of their infant daughter

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The parents accused of killing their months-old child in San Diego entered not guilty pleas at their arraignment Monday afternoon.

Elizabeth Ucman, 22, and Brandon Copeland, 21, were charged with first-degree murder after the infant was found unresponsive Nov. 10 at a home in the 3300 block of Maple Street in the Colina del Sol neighborhood of San Diego, San Diego police said.

Elizabeth Ucman, 22, and Brandon Copeland, 21, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges in the death of their months-old child.

Both parents are being held without bail and have a bail review hearing scheduled for Nov. 22. Their preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 10.

Officers arrived at the home shortly after someone called 911 to report the child needed medical attention, SDPD said. Responders performed CPR on the baby girl before transporting her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

NBC 7's Dave Summers spoke to the great grandmother of the infant about the case.

Child abuse detectives responded to investigate the case but little info was given about the circumstances leading to the child's death. Details may be presented when the parents are arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Adrienne Arnett, Ucman's grandmother and the infant's great grandmother, told NBC 7 the parents should never have had custody of the infant.

According to Arnett, Delilah’s great aunt was given emergency custody at birth because social services determined the parents and their apartment were unfit for care. After cleaning up the place, Delilah was returned to her parents, the grandmother said.

“God only knows what that baby suffered between the time they got their hands on her till the time that baby died," Arnett said.

Arnett said she pleaded with county Child Welfare Services not to return the baby to her parents, but the child was returned about a month-and-a-half ago.

"Social services was told by every member of the family that she was dangerous. We knew the boy was dangerous," she added.

Child Welfare Services did not return NBC 7's request for comment.

NBC 7's Dave Summers spoke with the child's grandmother about the incident.

Next door neighbor Sabrina Camacho said she didn’t even know the couple had a baby. She said she never saw them outside but often heard the couple argue.

“I know they’ve had domestic disputes in the past. At least you could hear it. Yelling at each other," Camacho said.

Anyone with information about the child's death is being asked to call the SDPD Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477, where tips can be called in anonymously. 

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