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Court upholds man's life sentence for killing wife after he found unkempt home

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After being jailed for brutally beating his wife, a man told police he would do it again. Two years later, he did — this time stabbing her death in front of their three young sons even while his 11-year-old attempted to stop him.

Mr. Jesus Ojeda Jimenez of Fayette County was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, but has appealed his sentence, claiming insufficient evidence.

But on Monday, the Supreme Court of Georgia overruled his claim and upheld his conviction.

In November 2009, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call from the couple’s 7-year-old son, Christian, who reported that his father was beating his mother and she was bleeding.

The couple lived in the Landmark mobile home park in Fayetteville with Christian and their two other sons, Bryan and Jesus.

Deputies found Mrs. Liliana Ruiz’s with injuries that included a black eye, bloody nose and swollen face and arrested Mr. Jimenez. He told investigators he struck his wife because he was tired of her talking to other men.

“Jimenez also told the deputy that when he got out of jail, he would do it again,” according to court reports.

More than two years later, at 7:50 p.m. on Jan. 20, 2012, the Fayette County 911 Center received another call from the couple’s son, Christian. The audio recording of that call would later be played for the jury.

Christian told his brother, 11-year-old Jesus, who was inside the trailer that their father was beating their mother.

“She had just returned from grocery shopping and was opening the door when her husband attacked her,” according to court records. “Jesus ran outside and tried to push his father off his mother as Jimenez stabbed her with a seven-and-a-half-inch kitchen knife.”

Bryan and Christian ran next door for help and the neighbor ran toward Mr. Jimenez and his wife. But it was too late. When deputies arrived, they found Jesus holding his dying mother.

The responding officer checked for a pulse. There was none.

“According to the medical examiner, she had been stabbed in the neck, cutting her jugular vein, in the chest, cutting her liver and lung, and in her back with such force, that it cut two of her ribs.”

Mr. Jimenez turned himself into the sheriff’s office the next day. He told the officer he believed his wife was having a relationship with another man. He had come home after drinking and was angry to find an empty, unkempt home.

He smoked a cigarette and wrote out a note to his boys, asking them to forgive him for what he was about to do.

When his wife arrived home, he attacked her. When his oldest son told him to stop and he heard sirens approaching, he ran into the woods.

In September 2012, Mr. Jimenez was convicted of murder, cruelty to children and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime. He was sentenced to life without parole plus 40 years in prison.

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