Jury finds DeJesus guilty of child neglect
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- The jury in the case of Deanna DeJesus has found her guilty of child neglect but the trial is not over yet.
They could not, however, agree on the aggravated manslaughter charge for failing to try and stop her husband from killing their son, resulting in a hung jury. That resulted in a mistrial on that charge. She will therefore have to face another trial on that charge.
Attorneys made their final arguments Monday morning at the Broward County Courthouse. The jury deliberated the case all afternoon.
The Port Orange woman is accused of failing to stop her husband from stabbing their 9-year-old son to death. Prosecutors said, if the mother would have done something, her entire family would still be alive today. However, the defense argues, the mother was powerless to do anything.
DeJesus covered her face and cried as Prosecutor Greg Rossman showed pictures of the deceased boy's wounds. "She said, he died quickly, he didn't suffer. That's one cut on the front of his hands," Rossman said, holding up the picture. "That's the back of his hands," he said, picking up another photo, "exploded from the stab wound, while he's not suffering and while he's dying quickly."
However, her attorney said, she could not do anything and being charged for inaction is absurd. "You can't go in and second-guess, 'Well, if you would've done this, then things would've ended differently.' That's not evidence. The state is asking you to speculate."
William DeJesus randomly showed up at a Deerfield Beach trailer park back in February, police said, which resulted in a standoff with police. He would kill his son, a tenant of the trailer park and then himself. He would wound both his younger son and his wife as well as the tenant's girlfriend during the rampage.
DeJesus decided not to testify in her defense Friday. "Deanna DeJesus sits here now," said Rossman. "She's still alive. Deanna fought back for herself only."
Her defense attorney, Terry Moons, in closing arguments, said his client could not do anything because she was hurt, as well. "As Samson [the surviving child] said earlier in his statement, 'I was laying down and Mom, I was trying to get Mom up, but she couldn't get up.' Was that corroborated? It absolutely is."
The judge gave instructions to the jury, noting this is a case about fact and not a case about how this tragedy could have happened.
DeJesus was found guilty for child neglect by the jury, but they could not agree on a verdict on the aggravated manslaughter charge. A new trial date for that other charge should be announced shortly. So far, she could face up to 15 years in prison.
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