Watch: Yesenia Sesmas Murder Trial

Yesenia Sesmas is standing trial, accused of killing Kansas woman Laura Abarca Nogueda and kidnapping Nogueda’s newborn daughter Sophia on November 17, 2016. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Sesmas was in the country illegally at the time.

Police responding to a 911 call found Nogueda’s body in an apartment. She had what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. Cops recovered an iPhone that they discovered belonged to her, and saw text messages between her and Sesmas. A neighbor said that they had seen the apartment’s door open earlier that afternoon, and that someone matching Sesmas’ description had looked outside.

Two days after Nogueda’s death, a SWAT team raided a home in Dallas, Texas, where they found Sesmas with the child, who was less than a week old. A handgun found in a closet had ammunition that was the same brand as the shell casings found in Nogueda’s apartment. They located her after an FBI task force traced her cell phone to points in Oklahoma and Texas.

Wichita police said Sesmas admitted that the took the baby after suffering a miscarriage, faking the continued pregnancy, and telling her boyfriend that she had a baby. She allegedly said that she held a gun to the mother’s head and it went off.

She said she then took the child to Texas, and planned on moving to Mexico with her boyfriend and the baby.

Sesmas is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and aggravated interference with parental custody.

[Image via Dallas County Jail]


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Aaron Keller is an attorney licensed in two states. He holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. During law school, he completed legal residencies in the Office of the New Hampshire Attorney General and in a local prosecutor’s office. He was employed as a summer associate in the New Hampshire Department of Safety, which manages the state police, and further served as a summer law clerk for a New York trial judge. Before law school, Keller worked for television stations in New York and in the Midwest, mostly as an evening news anchor and investigative reporter. His original reporting on the Wisconsin murder of Teresa Halbach was years later featured in the Netflix film "Making A Murderer."

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