Dedicated Texas Criminal Defender

Woman wrongly convicted 15 years ago still awaits retrial

On Behalf of | May 4, 2020 | Evidence in Criminal Cases

In general, most people want to trust the legal system in Texas and in the United States, but the system unfortunately isn’t flawless. Innocent people can and do face wrongful convictions.

A recent news article tells the story of Rosa Jimenez. In 2005, Rosa was convicted of murdering a nearly two-year-old child she babysat after he choked on a wad of paper towels.

Now, Rosa remains incarcerated amidst petitions for a retrial by several judges and experts. They feel the prosecution did not have strong enough evidence to convict Rosa.

The story of the case

In 2003, Rosa was babysitting young Bryan and her own daughter, Brenda. According to Rosa’s testimony, she was in the kitchen when Bryan entered, clearly choking. She tried to clear the paper towels from his throat and contacted a neighbor for help.

When the emergency responders arrived and removed the paper towels, the size of the wad of paper towel shocked them.

During the trial, one of the prosecutor’s primary arguments was that no child of that age could physically shove that much paper towel down his throat. The prosecution’s experts agreed. Meanwhile, the defense team had trouble getting good expert witnesses to rebut this claim, partially due to a lack of funds.

Based on that theory, Rosa Jimenez was sentenced to 99 years in prison. The prosecutor’s case included:

  • No physical evidence she had committed the crime
  • No motive for committing the crime
  • No history of any criminal activity, violent or otherwise

Most of all, the case contained significant reasonable doubt, which has prompted others to speak out about a potential injustice.

What has happened since the trial?

Since Rosa’s conviction, numerous judges and new expert witnesses have publicly claimed the case result to be unjust. They feel she deserves a new trial. Experts, the quality of which were not available to Rosa Jimenez at the time of her trial, proclaim it’s possible for a child to do what Rosa claims young Bryan had done. Now, judges say there was far from enough evidence to warrant the conviction she received.

As new forensic experts and judges proclaim that the verdict was based on emotion instead of fact, Rosa continues to await the opportunity for a new trial.

What does this mean?

The law requires the prosecutor to convince the judge or jury of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The professionals recently introduced into the case argue the prosecution failed to do this.

If you are being accused of a crime, do not let ineffective assistance of counsel be your undoing. Make sure you work with an experienced attorney who will do everything possible to protect your rights.