A Grayson County grand jury returned a capital murder indictment against Sergio Jimenez, 28, of Sherman on Wednesday.
The indictment is a formal charge and not an indication of guilt.
A prepared statement from the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office said on June 26, Sherman police received a report from Ana Garcia, 24, that she had been assaulted by her husband, Jimenez, the previous night. Sherman police began an investigation, which eventually revealed that Garcia had been pregnant at the time of the assault and that her unborn child died as a result of the assault.
When asked about the rarity of charging someone with capital murder in the death of an unborn child, Brown said he can’t recall another murder case where the victim was an unborn child. He said his office has had cases where people were charged with manslaughter after an unborn child was killed in the crash, though he couldn’t recall a specific case.
“I think (the charge) is uncommon statewide, but certainly has been alleged in other jurisdictions,” Brown said. He said that at this time, his office is not planning to seek the death penalty in the case.
Brown said Texas law does provide that a “person,” for the purpose of the murder statute, does include an unborn child.
Jimenez was also charged with aggravated assault related to injuries caused to Ana Garcia in the incident. This charge is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
A search of Grayson County court records shows that Jimenez has a history of traffic violations dating back to 2009. He has no attorney of record listed on the county’s records sight at this time.
The affidavit for the arrest warrant on the capital murder charge says Ana Garcia went to the Sherman Police Department on June 26 and said she had been assaulted by her husband at their home in the 1700 block of North Ross Street in Sherman. She said she was currently pregnant and that her husband knew that fact. With the help of an interpreter, Garcia told investigators that Jimenez started a fight with her by trying to take away her car keys. She said he forced her onto their bed, placed a blanket over her head and suffocated her with the blanket. She said he then jumped on top of her and sat down forcefully on her stomach and bounced up and down on her stomach several times.
The affidavit says that SPD officers saw bruising on Garcia’s hands, wrists, forearms, red markings on Garcia’s upper chest, neck and abdomen, and one or more abrasions on Garcia’s fingers. Garcia told officers she believed Jimenez assaulted her with the intent to cause her to miscarry. She said he made statements during the assault that indicated he did not believe the child she was carrying was his.
That same day, Garcia underwent an ultrasound that showed that she was estimated to be five weeks pregnant and that her pregnancy appeared to be normal and safe.
Officers spoke with Jimenez on the same day and he told them he thought his actions likely caused Garcia to miscarry. The affidavit said Jimenez admitted to assaulting Garcia including suffocating her and sitting down on her.
The affidavit says that on July 5, a person who identified himself as Garcia’s brother called police to say that she had miscarried. The officer later learned that Garcia had gone to the Texoma Medical Center Emergency Room on July 2 and was released on July 3.
Sherman Police Officer Rob Ballew, who swore out the affidavit, talked with Garcia on the phone and she said she had the embryo that she passed on July 3. Ballew and Garcia then met with Justice of the Peace David Hawley and Hawley ordered the remains to be sent to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office for examination and identification.
Garcia then told Ballew she first noticed blood in her undergarments on June 26 which was the morning following the assault. She said she experienced severe abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding on June 28 or 29. She was in Dallas at the time and visited Baylor Medical Center and was told her pregnancy was still viable.
Then on July 2, she again experienced bleeding and went to the TMC. An ultrasound confirmed her pregnancy had been terminated. She later passed what she believed was her unborn embryo.
An ultrasound conducted on July 5 confirmed she was no longer pregnant.