20 Years After Toddler's Death, an Exoneration

Rosa Jimenez was wrongly imprisoned for murder after child in her care choked
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2023 2:10 PM CDT
Woman Exonerated 20 Years After Toddler's Death
   (Getty / 12963734)

Rosa Jimenez is now officially an innocent woman, just as she has insisted for 20 years. A judge in Travis County, Texas, exonerated her of murder charges on Monday, reports the Austin American-Statesman. Jimenez had been convicted after a 21-month-old child she was babysitting choked on a wad of paper towels in 2003. Prosecutors made the case at the time that the child could not have choked accidentally, and they brought in expert witnesses to back them up. Since then, however, other experts have cast doubt on that assertion. The Innocence Project was among those who took up Jimenez's cause.

"I'm grateful for everybody that believed in me at the beginning to the end," said Jimenez after Monday's court action. She had been released from prison in 2021 after a judge deemed the original trial faulty. Jimenez had a 1-year-old daughter when she was convicted, and she gave birth to her son while awaiting trial. She now lives in New York and is about to become a grandmother, but she has a new challenge: She was diagnosed with kidney disease while in prison, and her condition has deteriorated to the point where she now needs a transplant, per CBS News. (More exoneration stories.)

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