Veronica Gonzales and her husband Ivan Gonzales were for some reason looking after their niece who was four years old whose mother was in drug rehab and her father was in prison for child molestation. The little girl was beaten and starved for months before being severely scalded when she was thrown into a bathtub which would end up causing her death. Veronica Gonzales and Ivan Gonzales would be arrested and charged with multiple crimes including child abuse, torture and murder. Both would be convicted on all charges and both would be sentenced to death and sent to California Death Row
Veronica Gonzales 2021 Information
|Inmate Name||GONZALES, VERONICA UTILA|
|Current Location||Central California Women’s Facility|
|Parole Eligible Date (Month/Year)||CONDEMNED|
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The state Supreme Court upheld the death sentence Thursday for a woman who was convicted along with her husband for the torture and murder of 4-year-old Genny Rojas in what was called the worst case of child abuse in San Diego County history.
Veronica Gonzales was sentenced to death in July 1998 for the murder of Genny, her niece. The child had been burned in a bathtub of scalding hot water, submerged until the skin peeled off her body.
Veronica and her husband, Ivan, waited several hours before calling authorities.
The subsequent investigation revealed the burning was only the last example of what Associate Justice Carol Corrigan wrote was “a prolonged and varied course of abuse.” Trial testimony revealed the couples’ two-bedroom Chula Vista apartment had become a house of horrors for the girl, with testimony so graphic it haunted jurors and investigators long after the trial was over.
She was beaten repeatedly, burned with a blow dryer on her face and upper body, and handcuffed and hung from a bar inside a closet for hours at a time. She had come to live with the methamphetamine-addicted couple, who had six children of their own, when her own mother headed to a drug rehabilitation program.
Ivan Gonzales was also sentenced to death. The two are the first married couple ever sentenced to death row in California history.
Though Genny died 16 years ago and the two were sentenced in 1998, this is the first appeal for Veronica Gonzales, who is housed at Chowchilla women’s prison in central California. She can now pursue appeals in the federal courts, which could take years, and second habeas corpus appeal in state courts.
The Supreme Court has not yet set a hearing on the first appeal for Ivan Gonzales.
The 80-page opinion rejected a variety of attacks on the verdict from Gonzales. She had claimed she was a battered woman dominated by her husband, but Corrigan rejected that and said evidence showed Veronica was the dominant person in the marriage.
While agreeing to uphold the guilty verdict, Associate Justice Rebecca Wiseman — an appellate court judge who was assigned to hear the case in place of retired Justice Carlos Moreno — said the death sentence should be reversed.
She wrote that closing argument by then-prosecutor and current San Diego Superior Court Judge Dan Goldstein was improper because Goldstein read an emotional letter he wrote to the dead girl. Wiseman said such a powerful appeal to jurors’ emotions was improper and merited reversing the death sentence.
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- Veronica Gonzales 2020 Update
Veronica Gonzales is currently incarcerated at the Central California Women's Facility the home of death row for women in California
- Why Is Veronica Gonzales On Death Row
Veronica Gonzales and her husband were convicted and sentenced to death for the torture murder of her four year old niece