National News

Woman ordered to stand trial in Kansas slaying, abduction

Posted March 16

— A Mexican national charged with killing a Kansas mother and kidnapping the victim's newborn daughter was ordered Thursday to stand trial.

A Sedgwick County judge heard two hours of testimony before ordering Yesenia Sesmas, 34, to face trial on charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping and aggravated interference with parental custody. The judge entered a plea of not guilty on Sesmas' behalf.

Prosecutors allege Sesmas fatally shot 27-year-old Laura Abarca of Wichita in November and abducted Abarca's 6-day-old newborn. Sesmas and the baby were found two days later at a Dallas home. The child was not injured and was returned to relatives in Wichita.

The baby's father, Manuel Gonzalez, testified during Thursday's hearing that he came home from work, saw the apartment's door ajar and went inside, where he saw Abarca on the couch covered in blood. He said the newborn was missing, and he ran to neighbors for help.

Wichita police Detective Michelle Tennyson testified that Sesmas said during an interview in Texas "that she had the firearm pointed at Laura and was standing in front of her, and then the gun went off," shooting Abarca in the forehead.


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