Jimenez murder verdict upheld by Ga. Supreme Court

The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of a Fayette man who stabbed his wife to death in front of the couple’s three young sons Jan. 20, 2012 outside their north Fayette home.

Attorneys for Jesus Ojeda Jimenez filed the appeal, contending that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support the jury’s guilty verdict. Jimenez also argued that a judge should have granted his request for a new trial, but the Supreme Court noted in its opinion that a judge reviewed the trial transcript and determined the new trial motion had no merit.

Along with the 911 recording of Jimenez’s 9-year-old son reporting the stabbing, prosecutors also had in evidence the murder weapon he used to kill Liliana Ruiz: a kitchen knife that was recovered at the scene. The jury also saw a note penned by Jimenez that was left at the home following the killing, saying he was sorry and asking for someone to take care of the couple’s three children.

Also, the 11-year-old son testified during the trial about the incident.

Prosecutor Warren Sellers contended that Jimenez penned the note in advance of the brutal stabbing.

The killing was one of the most vicious in county history as Ruiz was stabbed multiple times. It was also one of the most heartbreaking cases, as one of the couple’s sons rushed to his mother’s aid following the attack, trying to stop the bleeding ... only to have his mother die in his arms.

Jimenez’s attorney at trial argued that the killing was not premeditated but rather that Jimenez snapped in a fit of jealousy suspecting that his wife was cheating on him. Because of that, Jimenez should have been convicted of voluntary manslaughter, not murder, attorney Marco Corales argued.

Jimenez was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by Superior Court Judge Robert Mack Crawford, who added an additional 40 years in prison to be served consecutively.

The jury found Jimenez guilty in September of malice murder, felony murder, possession of a knife during a crime and three felony counts of cruelty to children in the first degree.