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Trial Starts for Woman Charged with Drowning Her Toddler in the Trinity River

By Chelsea KAY, @ChelseaKayTv
Published On: Nov 19 2012 07:27:34 PM CST
WEAVERVILLE, Calif. -

Opening statements and testimony began for the woman charged with drowning her two and a half year old daughter in the Trinity River.

Claudia Pedreros is charged with murder and child cruelty in connection with the death of her daughter, Sophia, last year.

Investigators say Pedreros was found walking naked along Highway 3 on May 20, 2011. 

In court Monday morning, Pedreros seemed hysterical; crying and wiping away tears as people entered the court room. She was composed once opening statements and testimony started.               

In his opening statement, Deputy District Attorney Adam Grace told jurors Pedreros didn't want her daughter and was unhappy with her life.

He said while her husband was out of town on business, Pedreros loaded up her car with Sophia, their dog and a bunch of belongings.

He said she made random stops, ditching things like her ID and phone, eventually making her way to the Trinity River. That's when he said she forced her daughter under the water.

Pedreros' attorney, Russ Clanton, argued she has a history of mental illness, dating back to when she was 15-years-old.

He said she was disoriented and delusional, even denying the fact that she had a child when she was first questioned.

Peter Jackson, the FBI Agent who interviewed Pedreros, took the stand.

He said she admitted to killing Sophia. He said she did give a variety of stories and often contradicted herself, but that ultimately said she drowned her daughter while reciting the Lord's Prayer.

Her attorney argued that she was interviewed while in a vulnerable state.

Pedreros' mom and sister are expected to testify that Pedreros does in fact have a history of mental illness.

Her husband, Sophia's dad, Robert Parker is also expected to take the stand.