Mother Who Let Boyfriend Kill
A Brooklyn mom who allowed her monster boyfriend to savagely beat their kids – killing their 3-year-old daughter – pleaded guilty Wednesday in exchange for a short prison term.
Kimberly Cantos, 26, admitted to second-degree manslaughter and will serve one to three years in prison for the death of little Ginelis Jimenez.
The malnourished girl died three years ago after enduring a short life of hell at the hands of her father, Michael Jimenez, who repeatedly battered her. He had previously copped to murder and is serving a life sentence.
It is easy to vilify a defendant like Ms. Cantos, but having represented folks charged with similar conduct (really, non-conduct) I can say that such cases are particularly complex, both legally and factually.
We represented a man who was accused of doing nothing while his wife killed her child. The child was hers from a previous marriage and had only come recently to live with them. The evidence the DA claimed to have was that the client knew his wife had beaten the child yet had not called the police or a doctor.
The Penal Law generally punishes only only action, not non-actions such as the alleged failure to call the police. Where, however, the defendant is the parent of the victim (or, to use a legal phrases, stands in loco parentis to the victim — that is, is acting as a parent to the victim), a charge of manslaughter will lie for non-action. In other words, the law imposes an obligation to act when it would not ordinarily do so.
In our case we argued that the client, who was neither a parent nor standing in loco parentis, should not be criminally liable for non-action.
The full story is in the Daily News here.