24, 2008 - September 6, 2009
A Grave Memorial
Lorena Hernandez went
to work like any other day, at the Dodge House Hotel And Convention
Center. Little did she know that her life was going to change, forever,
that day. A co-worker
found her and told her that she needed to go to the hospital because
her daughter, Joselyn, was not breathing.
Lorena's boyfriend had been baby sitting Joselyn and when she got to
the hospital he told her that he had been carrying
Joselyn and tripped over a bedspread which caused him to land on top of
her. Gabriel De La Torre said that Joselyn
had stopped breathing and he was able to revive her, so he got her
dressed before taking her to the hospital. At the hospital, a
helicopter was called to take Joselyn for treatment, while it was still
en route to the hospital,
Joselyn stopped breathing and the staff was unable to revive her. What
Lorena didn't know was that her daughter had suspicious bruising.
At the first trial,
Gabriel said that he had given Joselyn a bath and
that the when entering the bedroom he had
tripped over the
bedspread and fallen on top of her and she was not
breathing so he revived her, then dressed her and drove her to the
hospital. Though Gabriel was convicted in October of 2011, the jury was
deadlocked on the charge of murder and on November 1, 2011, that
deadlock forced a
mistrial. There would be a second trial.
his second trial,
in March of 2011, Gabriel plead not guilty, though he did not testify.
Sedgwick Country's Chief Forensic Examiner, Dr. Jaime Oeberst said that
Joselyn died from a blow to her chest that ruptured her heart. Jaime
testified that Joselyn had blunt force trauma to her chest and bruising
under her skin and that the autopsy had found hemorrhaging in her chest
and abdominal cavity as well as 35 bruised on her forehead along with
injuries to the back and front side of her head:
appears to be inflicted trauma, not accidental. I can't say as to
intent, but it's not
At trial when
if she was surprised to know that there had been bruising, she replied
with one word "yes". Lorena said that she had spent a lot of time with
Joselyn on her days
off and had never seen any bruising on her daughter. At one point, she
said she had seen a bump on her daughters
head about two weeks before she died and that Gabriel said she had
bumped her head trying to hold on to
their television and falling.
Attorney Jacob Fishman was questioning Lorena and
asked her if the comforter had fallen off of the bed in the past.
Lorena said that it often slipped off of the bed
due to the mattress being slippery, though she also said she had never
seen anyone trip over it. Lorena said that she
had not been questioned by the police at the hospital, though later she
had been told about the bruising on her
daughter. Lorena said she had lived with Gabriel after the death of
Joselyn and had become pregnant again with their
second child and had no problem allowing him to take care of that baby.
Steve Cott, the Defense Attorney asked her
if she believed that Joselyn had been a victim of child abuse and
Lorena said that she didn't think so, Joselyn was a
very happy child. When asked if she believed Gabriel's story about
tripping over the comforter, she answer "yes".
Called to the stand was
Detective Michael Ribbons. Michael testified
that he counted 44 bruises on Joselyn, that including several under her
scalp, at the autopsy on September 7 and 8,
in 2009. Michael said that when he had told Lorena about the bruising
she had asked him to find out who had
done this to her daughter and why. Lorena had questions which she
didn't want to ask Gabriel:
accidental. It was inflicted by another person."
that Joselyn's heart had been ruptured and that would cause it not to
work she added that Joselyn had a pre-existing heart defect which
probably contributed to
wondered why he
didn't call 911
instead of getting her (Joselyn) dressed and taking
her to the hospital.
That didn't make sense to her"
Lorena said that if
she had been the one to trip. she would have twisted and turned her
body to avoid landing on her daughter. Michael Robbins had interviewed
Gabriel who told him he had
given about five minutes worth of rescue breaths to Joselyn before
taking her to the hospital and that he had no
explanation for the bruising. When asked by Ford County Attorney Terry
Malone how Gabriel had responded to
questions about if anyone had ever hit Joselyn, Michael told him:
when I would ask
him was, "No, never"
In August of 211,
Gabriel De La Torre was found guilty of killing Joselyn. After only an
hour and 15 minutes time, the jury came back with a guilty verdict for
first degree murder. Terry
Malone said there was a big difference in how the trial went this time:
think we did a better job of explaining the felony murder rule to the
CITY - Joselyn Hernandez, 11 months, died Sept. 6, 2009, at Dodge City.
She was born Sept. 24, 2008, the daughter of Gabriel De La Torre and
Survivors include: her
parents; brother, Luis Hernandez; half brother,
Miguel Romero; half sister, Monica Romero; grandfather, Refugio
Hernandez; one uncle; three aunts; and nine cousins. She was preceded
in death by her grandmother, Dionisia Carrisales.
Graveside services 10:30
a.m. Saturday at Maple Grove Cemetery, Dodge
City. There will be no public visitation. Memorials to the Joselyn
Hernandez Memorial Fund in care of Burkhart-Ziegler Funeral Chapel,
Today is June 14, 2014, I am unable to find out if Gabriel was ever
sentenced after the second trial.
Death occurred the
state of Kansas
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