The family of a woman who suffocated her baby while breastfeeding says she doesn’t deserve to go to jail

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The family of A California A mother accused of murder after suffocating one of her eight-month-old twin daughters with her breast is appealing for donations and help from the public, saying the distraught young mother-of-three acted in a moment of weakness and does not deserve jail.

Celina Juarez, 29, is in custody in San Jose on charges of murdering her eight-month-old daughter, Melanie.

On November 4, she held Melanie to her chest for ten minutes, pressing her face against her skin and holding her down while she “kicked” and “gasped” after being frustrated that she wouldn’t feed.

DailyMail.com can reveal the first photo of the 29-year-old with Melanie, her twin sister Zara, their two-year-old brother and her father, Selina’s husband, who is supporting her and raising funds for her defense.

Police say the mother intentionally killed her daughter, and that she was hungry and hadn’t eaten in days.

Celina Juarez, 29, is in custody in San Jose on charges of murdering her eight-month-old daughter, Melanie. Melanie and her twin sister Zara are shown together with their two-year-old brother. Celina’s husband Artemio is now raising funds for her legal defense

Celina Juarez was jailed on Nov. 16 on one count of murder

Selina Juarez

Celina Juarez, 29, is in custody in San Jose on charges of murdering her eight-month-old daughter, Melanie. She is shown on the left in the photo. Her family and friends insist she is a loving mother who had a mental health crisis

Artemio, Selina's husband, is now fundraising for her defense, insisting she needs

Artemio, Selina’s husband, is now fundraising for her defense, insisting she needs “help, not jail”. “Those who know her know that this is not in her character. She has dedicated her entire life to children and her life revolves around our children and our family. “There are two sides to every story and we need all the help we can get to give Selina a chance to have her say! This perception is incorrect, she is also a victim,” he said on the GoFundMe page

But the family insist she is a loving and dedicated mother who was overwhelmed and overworked trying to care for her toddler and twin babies.

Artemio, Selina’s husband, is now fundraising for her defense, insisting she needs “help, not jail”.

“Those who know her know that this is not in her character. She has dedicated her entire life to children and her life revolves around our children and our family.

“There are two sides to every story and we need all the help we can get to give Selina a chance to have her say! Such a decision is not correct, she is also a victim here,” he said.

The family is aiming to raise $10,000. So far, friends and strangers have donated $3,000.

The police say it’s a young mother held Melanie tightly to her chest, ignoring her as she “gasped for air” and kicked her, then placed her on the bed in the house.

The young mother of three then took Zara in her arms and tried to do the same.

After trying to strangle them both, she waited 20 minutes before calling her mother, who rushed into the house.

The family is aiming to raise $10,000.  So far, friends and strangers have donated $3,000

The family is aiming to raise $10,000. So far, friends and strangers have donated $3,000

Friends and relatives rushed to Selina's defense on a GoFundMe page, where they are trying to raise money for her defense

Friends and relatives rushed to Selina’s defense on a GoFundMe page, where they are trying to raise money for her defense

The mother administered CPR on the girls and then notified Selina’s brother, who called 911.

Both babies were then taken to hospital where Melanie was pronounced dead.

Selina has been charged with one count of murder and is in custody.

Her friends rushed to her defense, writing characteristic statements in an attempt to appeal to the judge.

“We love her and we know the truth and we want everyone to be more aware of mental health and that no one is immune, she is going through a tragedy and she deserves freedom and mental health services, not prison for an accident,” Jesus Carbajal said .

“This is a mother who needs help, not to be shamed,” said another friend, Crystal Conroy.

“As a parent, all you want to do is take care of your children, be able to feed them and comfort them. Being an only child can be overwhelming when these issues arise.

“I just can’t imagine how hard it is to have 2 kids going through this at the same time,” she added.

It is not yet clear when Selina’s next court appearance is or if she has hired an attorney.

Family home in San Jose, California.  Selina took care of the two girls alone after returning from church.  Her two-year-old son was with her husband

Family home in San Jose, California. Selina took care of the two girls alone after returning from church. Her two-year-old son was with her husband

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