A jury says a stepmother should spend the rest of her life locked up for child abuse after her 6-year-old stepdaughter dies in her care.
The biological mother say evidence always pointed to Jennifer Jimenez abusing the children. Jimenez is now sentenced to life in prison and the mother says this is just one victory in her fight for justice.
Christina Potter says the fight for her daughter's life began long before her death.
"Every time she would say ‘I saw my mom picking her up and slamming her.' I would feel the jolt as though I could feel it for my daughter," said Potter.
A jolt, the mom remembers feeling every time she heard her daughter had been abused. A jury found Jimenez guilty of the child abuse.
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Testimony from a DHS child welfare worker also revealed countless bruises reported to the state agency were ignored. When asked by prosecutors, "In your opinion, were the 17 referrals made to DHS investigated?" The child welfare worker replied, "No, they were not."
The worker also explained that several of the complaints were lumped together or classified as "custody dispute". All but two of the referrals came from doctors, teachers and counselors.
"My next step is getting deeper into closure on things that should have been, prior to, taken care of," Potter said.
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The mother wants DHS to also be held accountable for her daughter's death and is suing the state agency. Due to pending litigation she can only say she is still waiting to get closure.
"There might not even be that closure, but you know what? At least I am trying and she knows I'm trying," said Potter.
News 9 could not reach DHS for comment by the time this story aired, but DHS has previously responded to our questions with a statement saying, "Because there is pending litigation in this case they cannot comment on the details of the agency's interactions with the family."
7/16/2012 Related Story: Jury Selection Begins In Pottawatomie County Child Death Case
1/03/2012 Related Story: Mother Says DHS Ignored Complaints Of Abuse Made Before Child's Death