Truckee murder trial verdict: guilty
A Truckee man was convicted of second-degree murder Tuesday by a Nevada County Superior Court jury for the beating death of his girlfriend’s 1-year-old daughter.
Albert Jiminez Jr., 29, gazed ahead without emotion as the clerk read two other guilty verdicts – for assault on a child resulting in death and child abuse likely to cause great bodily injury or death.
Some of the 20 court observers, including the girl’s family, sobbed as the verdicts were read.
Already with a prior felony child-abuse conviction, Jiminez potentially faces 50 years to life in prison at his June 10 sentencing.
Witnesses during the seven-day trial in Nevada City said Kylie Ann Kirbis-Fernhoff showed other signs of abuse before the fatal beating, yet no one reported it.
“It’s just sad that nobody picked it up along the way,” said juror Kristin Aguilar, a mother and one of eight women on the 12-person jury. “It makes you want to be more aware when you’re in the care of children.”
Aguilar added no one other than Jiminez can be blamed for the girl’s death.
Jiminez, who didn’t testify, told authorities the girl choked on a cracker April 3, 2001, and she was injured as he performed the Heimlich maneuver. He had earlier lost his job with a tow company and was the girl’s caregiver when her mother, Michelle Fernhoff, worked. Kylie died the next day at Washoe Medical Center in Reno.
A pathologist testified that Kylie died of head and abdominal injuries, and that she had previously fractured ribs that were healing, a healed liver laceration and prior brain injuries, according to Assistant District Attorney Ron Wolfson, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Fred Holmes.
A daycare provider testified seeing scalding burns on the girl a couple months earlier, and new injuries a day before the fatal assault. A nurse practitioner testified she saw the burns after they had healed, according to Wolfson.
“This is a case which demonstrates that mandated reporters should not hesitate to report injuries which could be evidence of abuse,” said Wolfson, who praised the investigation of the Sheriff’s Office.
In 1994, Jiminez was convicted of beating a 3-year-old girl – again, the daughter of a girlfriend – in Sacramento County. That girl survived but suffered a separated bowel.
Jiminez’s lawyer, John Kennelly of Truckee, said his client accepted the verdict and supported the strategy to not testify. No defense witnesses were called during the trial.
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