Dad charged in child's murder attempts suicide

August 15, 2008 2:42:35 PM PDT
The man accused of killing his three-year-old daughter is under psychiatric evaluation after attempting suicide. Relatives can barely cope with the loss of little Ginelis Jiminez, allegedly beaten to death in Brownsville by her father Wednesday night.

Twenty-five-year-old Michael Jiminez was charged with 2nd degree murder.

The little girl's family wishes they could have done more, especially when it seemed she was afraid of her father in the past.

"She held onto my leg. She would tell me, 'No Dede. No auntie. No go. No go,'" the victim's aunt, Mayda Cantos, said.

What they can't understand is why Ginelis' mother is facing charges in the case as well. Twenty-three-year-old Cynthia Cantos claims that she too was a victim of Jiminez.

"He beat her. He choked her. There's a police report on file with the authorities in New Jersey. He actually at one point, broke into her father's house, and choked her while the children were in the house," defense attorney Barry Deonarine said.

"I told her get away from that. You don't need that in your life. God forbid, (he is) gonna hurt the kids, and look what happened," said Julia Zureta, her cousin.

While Jiminez remains on suicide watch, Cantos was arraigned at criminal court on Friday.

Prosecutors insisted she stood by and did nothing as she watched Jiminez hurt her little girl. They said her mother admited she heard Gianelis' arm snapping, heard her screaming and crying.

"She stood by as her common law husband, Michael Jiminez, in June broke the child's arm and in August threw the child, hit the child, and broke the child's clavicle," assistant district attorney Roger McCready said.

Meanwhile, the little girl's baby brother, Hezekiah, was also in the hospital with his own abuse injuries from broken ribs to bites.

"He had bite marks on both of the cheeks, bite marks on the chin, bite marks on his neck, scars in the back," McCready said.

Cantos' lawyer insisted the children's mother did the best she could.

"The problem here is when you're in a controlling situation, there is so much fear that she was rendered powerless. She was his object," he said.

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STORY BY: Stacey Sager

WEB PRODUCED BY Bob Monek

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