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Mom who drowned daughter released from jail after being deemed sane

A California woman who was found to be insane when she admitted to drowning her 3-year-old daughter in a bathtub in January 2010 has been released from jail after being deemed sane.

The Modesto Bee reports that Jennifer Lynn Bigham, 26, was ordered released from custody Tuesday after doctors said she no longer exhibits the symptoms of mental illness that caused her to drown her daughter.

At Tuesday's hearing, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Thomas Zeff said he is legally required to order Bigham's release if she has fully regained her sanity, according to the report.

The court previously ruled that Bigham was not guilty based on reports from doctors who determined she suffered from "severe mental illness" at the time of the drowning at her Patterson, California home.

Elaine Casillas, a deputy district attorney in Stanislaus County, told The Modesto Bee after the hearing that the court's standard in determining Bigham's metal health status was not stringent enough.

"She's a danger to society," Casillas said. "She's not been evaluated properly."

Casillas told the judge the district attorney's office in Stanislaus County plans to file an appeal, but that did not prevent Bigham from walking free Tuesday, according to The Modesto Bee.

After the judge made his ruling, Bigham's defense attorney reportedly said the judge "made the only ruling required legally based on the findings from medical experts," the report states. 

Click here for more from The Modesto Bee.

 

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