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Fairview man charged with killing 1-year-old girl complains about progress of case

Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter
Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

EXCLUSIVE: A Fairview man accused of killing his girlfriend’s baby daughter by beating her and holding her head underwater in a bathtub continued to complain openly in court about the progress of his case, despite attempts by his lawyer — and a judge in Hackensack — to silence him.

“There is no blunt force trauma! No blunt force trauma!” 27-year-old Yoher Jimenez shouted as Bergen County Sheriff’s officers led him away to the county jail following a contentious proceeding in a Hackensack courtroom yesterday.

In a case marked by repeated delays, Jimenez contends, among other things, that medical reports ordered by First Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor John Higgins prove that he couldn’t have caused the April 2010 death of 1-year-old Baby Victoria.

Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi (STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter)

Before being assigned public defender Ian Silvera last summer, Jimenez submitted a series of filings that he prepared himself.

“None of my motions have been heard,” he insisted yesterday to Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi during what was supposed to be a routine status conference. “I want all my motions heard before the trial.”

“They will be,” DeAvila-Silebi replied, as Silvera tried to quiet his client.

“I would like to encourage Mr. Jimenez to refrain from mentioning any facts of the case on the record,” Silvera said.  “He should let me represent him and filter his remarks before he puts them on the record.”

DeAvila-Silebi reinforced the attorney’s advice,  telling Jimenez: “Everything you are saying, Mr. Silvera has already taken care of.”

Jimenez didn’t agree.

Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor John Higgins
(STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter)

“I have been filing motions since 2010,” he said. “I would like due process to be followed.”

The case has been delayed several times, including last July, when Jimenez dropped his previous attorney.

As a result, it’s now nearly four years since his arrest on charges of murder, aggravated assault, attempted murder and child endangerment. He remains held on $1 million bail in the Bergen County Jail.

Jimenez and his girlfriend had just moved from a relative’s house in Hasbrouck Heights to Harding Place in Fairview when she went shopping, leaving Victoria — the daughter of a different father — with him.

Police called to the home later found Victoria unresponsive. She was first taken to Palisades and then transferred to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Paterson, where it was discovered that she had a skull fracture and several rib fractures.

She died a few days later.

Jimenez, a Colombian national, denied killing her.

She “was in the crib and [I] heard the baby coughing and gave her water,” he told CLIFFVIEW PILOT through a relative at the time. “Then [I] came back to check on her and she was pale and her lips were purple.”

Family members took to Facebook and other social networks, insisting that Jimenez was innocent.

Victoria’s mother, Jakeline Jimenez, was charged with child endangerment after investigators determined that she knew enough not to leave Victoria alone with her boyfriend because of “past abuse at [his] hands,” Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said at the time.

The INS also sought to detain her. After a month in the county jail, she was released.

Silvera asked the judge yesterday for one more status conference to allow a nationally-recognized medical expert of his own choosing enough time to complete a review of the prosecutor’s medical reports.

DeAvila-Silebi gave him until June 2 — when, she said, she’ll be prepared to set a trial date.


STORY / PHOTOS: Mary K. Miraglia, CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter

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