Fla. Woman Charged in Daughter’s Murder

Posted by on Apr 7, 2012 in Women Behaving Badly | No Comments

Fla. Woman Charged in Daughter’s Murder

Fla. Woman Who Was Awarded $4.4M for Childhood AbuseCharged With Murdering 3-Year-Old Daughter

The Associated Press




MIAMI May 19, 2004 — A woman was charged Tuesday with murdering her daughter, less than five years after a jury awarded the woman and her sister $4.4 million for the abuse they suffered while in foster care.

Emergency workers found Yusimil Herrera’s 3-year-old daughter, Angel Hope Herrera, in their North Miami apartment Sunday evening, battered and unable to breathe on her own, police said

Angel was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she was declared dead Tuesday afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Lorraine Nelson said. The child had suffered severe head trauma anda broken arm, according to the arrest report.

Herrera, 20, was charged with first-degree murder late Tuesday, police said.

She made an initial court appearance Tuesday morning on an aggravated child abuse charge and was being held at a women’s detention center on $50,000 bond. She was expected to make another court appearance on the murder charge Wednesday. Her attorney, Tara James, did not return phone calls.

Herrera and her sister entered foster care in 1986, after her mother left them alone in a park. A 1995 lawsuit alleged the two girls were beaten, molested, raped and forced to take drugs as they grew up in the state system.

A Miami jury awarded them $4.4 million on Oct. 22, 1999. But an appeals court overturned that decision, and Herrera and her sister settled with the state earlier this year.

Angel’s godmother raised her until a few months ago, when she moved back into her mother’s apartment, said Department of Children & Families spokesman Peter Coats.

Coats called it “a very tragic situation” but said the child was never in DCF’s custody and the mother never gave up her parental rights.

In February and March, the state’s abuse hot line received three calls alleging Herrera was abusing her daughter. DCF asked to take Angel into protective custody in March, but Miami-Dade Juvenile Court Judge Sarah Zabel found there were no grounds for the removal, said Chuck Hood, the agency’s Miami district administrator. Zabel did not return a phone call late Tuesday.