Debate ensues over immigration status, custody of Rosa Jimenez just 1 day after judge calls for her release

State News

KXAN file photo

AUSTIN (KXAN) — One day after she was granted a new hearing that could possibly have led to her release from prison on bond, there were new questions about which agency has custody of Rosa Jimenez, and what’s next in her case.

The defense attorneys representing the babysitter, previously found guilty in the death of a child in her care, told KXAN that federal immigration agents picked their client up from prison in Gatesville, Texas, and she was possibly en route to the Mexico border to be deported.

“She’s been deprived 17 years of her life because of the justice system, and now this,” Brown told KXAN Investigator Avery Travis, who’s been following this case.

Just minutes later, they received a new update that ICE may be releasing their client into the custody of the Mexican Consulate in San Antonio later Wednesday. As of Wednesday night, the defense team reported Jimenez would be personally escorted back Austin, released on bond.

This comes a day after new experts testified on behalf of Jimenez, who has maintained her innocence for more than 15 years since her conviction in the death of the 21-month-old. The boy choked on paper towels while Jimenez was babysitting him.

These experts argued an accidental choking death was plausible and at the end of the hearing, District Judge Karen Sage said she believed a new trial was deserved — stating Jimenez may even be innocent.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Travis County 299th District Court released the findings of the Tuesday hearing, explaining that “in light of the testimony and affidavit from our expert witness, Ms. Jimenez is entitled to relief because she is likely innocent.”

The judge will recommend her findings to the Court of Criminal Appeals, which will make the final decision to stand with or overturn Jimenez’ conviction or call for a re-trial. Counsel for Jimenez said she will remain in Travis County while that decision is taken up by the courts.

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