Mother charged in 6-year-old son's death
June 4, 2020 | View PDF
A Shafter woman was formally charged with one count of vehicular manslaughter and three counts of willful cruelty to a child in connection with a fatal rollover crash in February.
Shafter Police Department was dispatched to the scene in the 30000 block of West Tulare Avenue after 4:30 p.m. on the day of the accident, finding the vehicle in the orchards and 6-year-old Jade Jimenez critically injured. The driver, Jade's mother, Breanna Jimenez, and her other two children in the vehicle sustained minor injuries.
Jade was transported to a local hospital and later died from his injuries. At the scene, Sergeant Lionel Lopez said that alcohol or drugs did not appear to be a factor in the accident. After an investigation, the District Attorney's Office decided to charge Jimenez with the vehicular manslaughter charge, along willful cruelty to a child. Assistant District Attorney Mark Stamper confirmed that Jimenez was charged but would not elaborate on the specific charges.
Sergeant Joseph Stephens of the Shafter Police Department could not comment on the cruelty charges but did say that Jimenez, 31, was not charged with driving under the influence. Stephens said that cruelty charges in a vehicle accident could occur if the driver of the vehicle was under the influence or if the driver willingly put the passengers in danger. With the confirmation that Jimenez was not charged with driving under the influence, this opens the possibility that Jimenez got behind the wheel of the vehicle knowing that she was putting lives at risk.
Jimenez was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing last week, but the case was continued. She is next scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, June 9, for a bail review and pre-preliminary hearing.