Joselyn Hernandez
September 24, 2008 - September 6, 2009
Find 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.

At 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:

"It appears to be inflicted trauma, not accidental. I can't say as to intent, but it's not
accidental. It was inflicted by another person."

Jaime Oeberst said 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 her death.

At trial when asked 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.

Assistant County 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:

"She 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:

"His typical response 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:

"I think we did a better job of explaining the felony murder rule to the jury"

Published: 9/9/2009
Joselyn Hernandez

DODGE 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 Lorena Hernandez.

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, Dodge City.


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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