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Lawyer Asks Judge to Drop Murder Charge

August 02, 1997

OXNARD — Should Gabriela Hernandez face the same murder charge as husband Rogelio Hernandez in the abuse death of their 2-year-old daughter?

Attorneys argued the question Friday, and a judge said he would weigh their statements before deciding whether to drop murder charges against Gabriela Hernandez.

The Oxnard mother has said in interviews that she was a battered woman unable to stop her husband from regularly beating their daughter, Joselin.

Defense attorney William Maxwell argued that Gabriela Hernandez showed no malice--one key to a guilty verdict on a murder charge.

But Deputy Dist. Atty. Dee Corona argued that Gabriela Hernandez failed to protect her child despite the injuries the girl was obviously suffering at Rogelio Hernandez's hands.

Joselin Hernandez eventually died of blunt-force injuries to her stomach in 1996, which prosecutors say were caused by both parents.

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