Shawnee stepmother convicted in child abuse death

A Shawnee woman was sentenced to life in prison plus 25 years Wednesday in the 2009 child abuse death of her 6-year-old stepdaughter, Alexis Morris.
by Randy Ellis Published: July 19, 2012
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Panter, who prosecuted the criminal case against Jimenez, said a child abuse charge was filed against Jimenez rather than a murder charge because the state medical examiner was unable to definitively determine a cause of death.

Manner ‘unknown'

The medical examiner ruled the probable cause of death as “undetermined” and the manner of death as “unknown.”

Alexis' medical history included an irregular heartbeat that could have caused her death, the autopsy report indicated.

However, the pathologist noted an examination of the girl's body revealed “multiple contusions and abrasions on the scalp, back, buttocks, right flank, lower extremities and on the face.”

The medical examiner also found blunt force trauma to the top of Alexis' head, Panter said.

Panter said that Alexis and Jordan's father was not charged in connection with the case because all three surviving children who lived in the home testified the abuse happened when he was not present and that they were threatened with harm if they told him about abuse.

Panter described the courtroom atmosphere as “emotionally charged.”

Potter told The Oklahoman last November that her lawsuit against DHS was all about holding the agency accountable and “has nothing to do with the money.”

The lawsuit says that Jimenez previously had two of her own young children die under tragic circumstances.

Donte Jimenez was nearly 3 when he choked to death on a hot dog fed to him by Jimenez in July 2009, records indicate.

“Donte Jimenez had a known eating disorder, which interfered with the child's ability to safely eat food such as hot dogs,” the lawsuit said.

The other child, Eric, was reportedly 3 months old when he died in March 2001 from what the medical examiner described as “undetermined causes.”

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by Randy Ellis
Capitol Bureau Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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