Carmela Dela Rosa told detectives she "did a terrible thing" when she flung her 2-year-old granddaughter to her death off a six-story walkway at Tysons Corner Center, according to a taped interrogation played in court Tuesday.
A few hours after the incident, Dela Rosa told investigators that she tossed the child over the walkway connecting the mall with a parking garage out of anger at her daughter's husband, James Ogdoc.
"I thought about James, and I threw her," Dela Rosa said. Dela Rosa was at the mall for dinner that evening with her daughter, granddaughter and other relatives. While they were there, her daughter spoke to her husband on the phone - a call Dela Rosa said "triggered" her actions.
"Even if she's with us, James is always, like, in the picture," Dela Rosa told the detectives.
The officers were questioning her while doctors were still trying to save Angelyn, who died about nine hours after the incident. But if the child died, Dela Rosa said, "I would feel good that James doesn't have her anymore."
In a potential hiccup to her insanity defense, Dela Rosa affirmed that she could understand right from wrong, and knew she shouldn't have thrown Angelyn.
"What I did was wrong," she said on the tape. "A sane person wouldn't do this."
One of the officers, Detective Stephen Needles, acknowledged under cross examination that he never asked Dela Rosa whether she understood tossing the child was wrong when she did it. For Dela Rosa to be found not guilty by reason of insanity, her attorneys have to show that she didn't know what she was doing or understand the wrongfulness of her actions at the time of the incident.
The jury also saw footage of the incident captured by security cameras. The blurry film shows Dela Rosa approach the edge of the walkway, then family members sprinting away while she remains on the bridge.
Earlier Tuesday, James Ogdoc broke down in tears while testifying about his daughter's death.
Ogdoc said he went to the hospital after learning what happened.
"They had her hooked up to machines, checking her vitals, and she, she passed away," Ogdoc testified through tears.