Caregiver Exonerated after Being Imprisoned for Nearly 20 Years

On Monday, August 7th, a Texan woman was completely cleared of charges, having endured nearly two decades behind bars. Rosa Jimenez’s conviction dates back to 2003 when she was found guilty in connection to the unfortunate demise of a toddler under her supervision. The young child, Brian Gutierrez, aged 21 months, tragically passed away three months after choking on paper towels while under Jimenez’s care. Subsequently, in 2005, Jimenez received a 99-year prison sentence for a murder charge and a child injury charge stemming from the incident.

Throughout her trial, Jimenez maintained her innocence, while experts in the field of medicine attested that the choking incident couldn’t have been unintentional. Jose Garza, the District Attorney for Travis County, initiated efforts to advocate for her innocence starting from 2005. Garza expressed doubts about the accuracy of the medical testimony presented during her trial and raised concerns about her legal representation. In the courtroom proceedings, specialists contended that a toddler wouldn’t have been capable of independently ingesting a cluster of paper towels, leading them to conclude that Jimenez must have deliberately caused the choking by compelling the child to consume the paper towels.

Collaborating with Project Innocence, Garza persisted in collecting evidence aimed at establishing Jimenez’s lack of guilt in the child’s demise. Insights were gathered from experts in the field of pediatric medicine, particularly those well-versed in the workings of a child’s airway. This fresh evidence stood in contrast to the information presented during the trial, effectively challenging its credibility.

The disclosure implies that it could have been feasible for a toddler to ingest the paper towels without any signs of resistance, which would have been present if Jimenez had coerced the child to consume them—an aspect that was conspicuously absent. The unfortunate demise of the child, while heartrending, emerges as an unintended mishap rather than an act of homicide.

Presently residing in New York, Jimenez has joyfully embraced the arrival of her first grandchild. During her time in confinement, she was diagnosed with a kidney ailment and is actively seeking a donor for a transplant. In a news conference, Jimenez conveyed her gratitude towards those who had unwavering faith in her innocence, and she expressed her contentment in embarking upon a new chapter in her life.




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