A California woman who lost custody of her tot daughter due to abuse twice before killing her in 2015, was found guilty of several charges Monday, including second-degree murder.
KTLA reported 27-year-old Mayra Alejandra Chavez, of Oxnard in Ventura County, was found guilty in connection with the 2015 murder of her toddler daughter, 3-year-old Kimberly Chavez Lopez. Lopez pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against her, according to prosecutors. The little girl’s body has yet to be found.
The girl’s father, Omar Lopez, confessed in court at Chavez’s trial that he witnessed the brutal death of Kimberly in 2015, according to the Ventura County Star. The man told authorities that the incident occurred as Chavez was changing the tot’s diaper.
According to the newspaper, “Lopez said Kimberly hit her head after her mother swept her feet from underneath while removing her pants to change her diaper.”
The girl then reportedly “fell backward, suffered two seizures” and succumbed to her injuries “hours later.” Lopez told jurors he then drove with Chavez to Tijuana, Mexico, in order to get rid of the body.
— PeopleRuinEverything (@Skunky66613) December 11, 2018
Further, The Los Angeles Times, citing prosecutors, reported that Chavez and Lopez “broke apart her [Kimberly’s] bones with pliers and tried to dissolve her remains in a bucket with bleach and water, which they later poured down a sink in a house they were renting.”
Mayra Chavez, 27, was found guilty of second-degree murder, assault on a child causing death, and torture in the slaying of Kimberly Irene Chavez, prosecutors said. https://t.co/yl2gg3KIXm
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) December 11, 2018
Ventura County Children and Family Services received a report that something was amiss regarding Kimberly’s whereabouts in 2016, according to officials. When authorities responded, they said the girl was nowhere to be found, and further searched for the toddler for several months before apparently learning of her death.
Lopez and Chavez initially told officials of multiple scenarios of where the child was, alleging that she was with family members or friends, police said.
Mayra Chavez's alleged history of abusing her daughter Kimberly Lopez and the missing girl’s parents' stories on her whereabouts are detailed in the first two days of the mother's murder trial. https://t.co/HB45gJUtms pic.twitter.com/mkoHYSiubt
— Ventura County Star (@vcstar) November 29, 2018
A news release by the Ventura County District Attorney’s office noted two separate occasions when the toddler was removed from her parent’s care, reportedly before the age of 2. The release said Kimberly was first taken from her mother at birth and placed into foster care when Chavez “tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana.”
The mother then “took drug and parenting classes,” regaining custody of the baby. Kimberly was then taken a second time by the state, according to District Attorney Gregory Totten, when once again “she began to abuse her.” Chavez then “made the necessary efforts to regain custody” yet again, and was returned to the care of her parents.
Authorities believe Chavez “continued to torture and mistreat Kimberly” after the aforementioned, which ultimately led to the tot’s death.
Lopez reportedly stated in court that he never tried to intervene regarding the abuse Chavez inflicted, as he was “trying to keep the family together.”
Because of his court testimony and agreement to “plead guilty to charges of child endangerment and perjury,” a murder charge was dismissed, according to KTLA, who added that he will likely “be sentenced to 14 years in prison.”
Chavez is facing 47 years to life behind bars, according to prosecutors. In addition to the second-degree murder charge, the child killer was found guilty of felony torture and assault leading to Kimberly’s death.She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 14, 2019.
[Feature photo: Kimberly Chavez Lopez/Police handout]