Attorney General Still Refuses to Let Rosa Jimenez Go

Retrial in 1995 case on hold while Ken Paxton appeals


Rosa Jimenez (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore has decided she is willing to retry Rosa Jimenez, convicted in 1995 of the murder of a toddler, and that only Attorney General Ken Paxton stands in the way. Jimenez is currently in the 17th year of a 99-year sentence; no fewer than five judges have expressed doubt about her guilt.

In October 2019, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that Jimenez had received an unfair trial and ordered that she be retried or released by Feb. 25. That deadline came and went as the A.G.'s Office appealed Yeakel's ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has yet to rule. On May 7, Paxton filed a motion with the 5CA continuing the fight, insisting, "There is no new evidence in this case."

This has been untrue for nearly a decade as attorneys from the Innocence Project have been working to free Jimenez. In 2011, they presented expert testimony that convinced a state district judge that Jimenez's purported crime was likely a tragic accident. The A.G.'s Office has been appealing ever since.

Complicating matters is the fact that Jimenez has developed stage 4 kidney disease while behind bars, and her attorneys are concerned she may die before Paxton's appeal is resolved. They have filed an emergency motion asking Yeakel to allow Jimenez to leave prison on a personal bond. Predictably, Paxton has opposed the motion, a position Jimenez's attorney Vanessa Potkin calls "unconscionable."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Brant Bingamon
ARIC Informants Have Watched Local Leftists for Years
ARIC Informants Have Watched Local Leftists for Years
Secret police intelligence “Antifa affinity groups”

Oct. 23, 2020

Local Lawyers and Activists Come to the Aid of Protesters
Local Lawyers and Activists Come to the Aid of Protesters
A look at life after the arrests

Oct. 9, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Rosa Jimenez, Margaret Moore, Ken Paxton, Vanessa Potkin, Innocence Project

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle