Preliminary hearing held in Jimenez murder case | SierraSun.com
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Preliminary hearing held in Jimenez murder case

Erich Sommer, Sierra Sun

A forensic pathologist testified at a preliminary hearing for Albert Jimenez Jr., the 29-year-old Truckee man accused of murder and child abuse, that 1-year-old Kylie Ann Kirbis-Fernoff died of “physical child abuse” that, in her opinion, constituted “torture.”

Jimenez was arrested and charged shortly after the child’s death in April.

On Wednesday, Deputy District Attorney Fred Holmes asked Dr. Ellen Clark, a forensic pathologist who performed Kirbis-Fernoff’s autopsy, what her opinion was regarding the cause of death of Kirbis-Fernoff.

“Kylie Ann Kirbis-Fernoff died of multiple inflicted injuries consistent with physical child abuse,” she said.

Clark said her autopsy reveled extensive internal and external injuries, including bruises and burns on the skin, severe internal bleeding in the stomach, liver injuries and at least five cracked ribs.

Clark said the injuries had occurred over a period of “at least 10 days, maybe weeks, or even months.”

“What would these injuries be consistent with?” Holmes asked.

“Multiple episodes (of blunt force injury) that, in my opinion, constitute physical child abuse,” Clark said.

Prior to Clark’s testimony, NCSO Corporal David Lade, the first to arrive at the scene, testified that he was flagged down by an “emotionally upset” Jimenez. Lade said Jimenez told him Kirbis-Fernhoff was choking and that he tried the Heimlich maneuver, but wasn’t sure if he performed it correctly.

Lade said he and Sgt. Tim Hargrove performed CPR on Kirbis-Fernhoff while waiting for an ambulance.

Nevada County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched the morning of April 3 after receiving a call of a child choking.

Kirbis-Fernhoff was taken to Tahoe Forest Hospital, but died the next day at Washoe Medical Center after being taken off life support.

During the course of the investigation detectives determined the injuries were not consistent with information provided by Jimenez, who told authorities the child had choked on a cracker. He was the live-in boyfriend of the victim’s mother at the time of the death.

Jimenez served over two years in prison on a prior conviction of child abuse in Sacramento County.

A trial date for Jimenez is expected to be announced soon.


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