Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Oklahoma father accused of killing his baby ordered to trial

OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma father accused of killing his infant son will go to trial, a judge ordered Wednesday.

Victor Minjarez, 31, faces three felony charges including first-degree murder. Minjarez was arrested in March for the death of his 7-month-old, Jody. The baby was found inside a trashcan outside of a Venice Boulevard home after an Amber Alert was issued by the Norman Police Department.

Jody's mother testified in court Wednesday at a preliminary hearing and said the last time she saw Jody was February 19. Minjarez was watching Jody at a home in Norman while she was at work. When she came home, she told the court he was "explosive" and angry before he violently beat her and took off with Jody.

"I didn't want him [Minjarez] to take him, but I physically could not get up," she testified in court Wednesday.

During cross examination, Minjarez's attorney, Michael McBride, attempted to ask her several questions including what she did for a living and her dating history with Minjarez.

“I feel like the way you’re speaking to me is extremely disrespectful," she answered at one point.

Prosecutors stated McBride needed to "show some decency" for a woman who just lost her child, arguing some of his questions were not relevant to the case.

Oklahoma County Special Judge Kathryn Savage later instructed to answer the questions deemed appropriate by both legal counsels.

Before investigators found Jody in March, Minjarez had been arrested at the same home which was in the process of being remodeled. The homeowner, who was out of the country during the incident, testified in court he did not know who Minarjez was nor did he have permission to be there.

During the hearing, several investigators also testified, including one inspector with the homicide unit at the Oklahoma City Police Department. He interviewed Minjarez after he was arrested.

The inspector said Minjarez initially told police he had been using meth during the course of the two weeks Jody was missing and he left the baby with an unknown woman.

"I hope nothing happened to my baby," Minjarez allegedly told police during the interview.

The inspector testified he believed Minjarez knew what actually happened due to his body language and mannerisms. Minjarez later reportedly told police the baby had been dead for a week.

According to police, Minjarez claimed he placed a heater near the baby while he was asleep to keep him warm. He said he later woke up to the baby with blisters around his face but did not call 911 because he was already wanted.

Prosecutors, however, said a medical examiner's report found Jody died from blunt force trauma with a skull fracture. The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

At the hearing's conclusion, Judge Savage found there was enough evidence to send the case to trial. McBride told reporters he was not surprised by the ruling.

"I told him he’s [Minjarez] going to get bound over for trial, so he anticipated this," McBride said. "Right now, we’re just trying to establish a defense."

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for November 28.

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