The alleged killer of 6-year-old Oscar Jimenez Jr. made his first court appearance in Santa Clara County today and could face the death penalty, according to Deputy District Attorney Jeff Rosen.
With a tight fade haircut and a light mustache, Samuel Corona stood in a holding area doorway behind alternative public defender Steve Bermudez today in the packed courtroom as Superior Court Judge Jerome Nadler set a date to continue Corona's arraignment.
“He is eligible for the death penalty,'' Rosen said after the hearing. “That is something we will consider.''
If the district attorney opts not to pursue the death penalty, Corona could get life without parole, Rosen said.
Corona is charged with murder, child homicide, torture and felony child endangerment with a special circumstance of torture in the homicide.
The first charge of torture relates to abuse Corona allegedly inflicted on the boy prior to his death. The special circumstance of torture means that torture was involved with the boy's actual death, Rosen said.
Oscar's mother, Kathryn Jimenez, pleaded guilty to accessory to murder and child abuse and is scheduled for sentencing in January.
The story came to light Aug. 31 after Jimenez broke down in a Santa Clara County courtroom during a parental abduction hearing on behalf of the boy's father, Oscar Jimenez.
Jimenez explained in court how Corona told her to “say goodbye to your son'' before killing the boy in front of her. Oscar was allegedly killed for threatening Corona's 1-year-old boy.
Corona and Jimenez then drove the boy's broken body to Phoenix where he was buried behind a residence in a plastic bag under fertilizer and concrete.
On Sept. 8, Jimenez herself led investigators to the grave in Arizona where the boy's body was located.
Corona was brought from Arizona Thursday night where he had been arrested and held pending extradition hearings there. Corona is scheduled for arraignment Dec. 6.
— Bay City News