Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mother Testifies against Her Ex

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mother Testifies against Her Ex

Article excerpt

Jakeline Jimenez covered her face with her hands and sobbed on the witness stand Thursday at the trial of her ex-boyfriend, who is charged with killing her 1-year-old daughter.

Yoher Jimenez, 29, of Fairview, who coincidentally shares the same last name, is charged with murder, child endangerment and hindering his own arrest in the April 4, 2010 death of baby Victoria, whom Jakeline was raising as a single mother until she began dating Yoher, a co-worker.

Authorities say the girl had been crying while her mother was at work that Easter Sunday. Yoher allegedly beat the girl and held her upside down, dunking her head in bath water so hard he heard it hit the bottom of the tub, then he tossed her on the bed and drove the heel of his hand into her belly.

The defense says Victoria's death was a tragic accident.

Jurors on Thursday were shown a poster-sized picture of the girl, seated on the floor, wearing a fancy pink dress with a pink bow around her head. Her eyes, set above chubby cheeks, were cast up and looking off to the side. The photograph was taken just days before her death, to mark the child's first birthday.

Senior Prosecutor Maria Rockfol asked Jakeline what Yoher told her had happened to the child. "He said she was coughing and he gave her water," the mother said, through a Spanish interpreter. "The baby had choked ... probably because of the cough she had [the water] had gone down the wrong way and she choked."

Yoher sat at the defense table wiping his eyes with a tissue audibly crying during much of the testimony.

The morning of April 5 a doctor at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center asked Jakeline if she had taken Victoria to the doctor previously for wounds that came to light in X-rays, showing the child had broken ribs that were healing.

Jakeline described the girl as healthy and said she took her to regular checkups and that she was up to date on her vaccinations. …

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