Death sentence for "Ivan the Terrible" upheld

Started by turboprinz, August 02, 2012, 08:16:25 PM

previous topic - next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Go Down


SAN DIEGO -- The state Supreme Court unanimously upheld the death sentence of Ivan Gonzales, convicted more than a decade ago along with his wife of murdering his 4-year-old niece in what was described at the time as the worst case of child abuse in San Diego County history.

Gonzales was sentenced to death in January 1998 for the prolonged torture and murder of Genny Rojas. The child was burned in a bathtub of scalding hot water so badly that her skin sloughed off. Gonzalez and his wife, Veronica, waited several hours before calling for help.

The scalding was the last act in a horrific course of abuse the child suffered at the hands of the couple inside their two-bedroom Chula Vista apartment.

Court testimony revealed Genny was repeatedly beaten, had her hair pulled out by the roots, was burned with a blow dryer on her arms and face, and was handcuffed and hung from a bar inside a closet for hours at a time.

The details of her prolonged abuse was so graphic and disturbing it haunted investigators and jurors long after the trial was over.

Ivan and Veronica Gonzales were tried separately and each sentenced to death, becoming the first married couple ever sent to Death Row in California history.

Veronica Gonzales was sentenced to death in July 1998, and the Supreme Court upheld that decision in July 2011.

In his appeal, Ivan Gonzales -- who was referred to as "Ivan the Terrible" by the prosecutor and now Vista Superior Court Judge Dan Goldstein -- raised numerous legal arguments about his trial. Associate Justice Carol Corrigan, writing for the court, rejected them all.

"The evidence that Genny was extensively tortured over a period of time is overwhelming in this case," Corrigan said. "Her injuries were such that an intent to inflict extreme and prolonged pain for a sadistic purpose was obvious."

Genny was living with Gonzales and his wife and their six children because her mother, Veronica's sister, had lost custody because of a drug problem. She had lived with several relatives before ending up with the couple in February 1995. She was murdered five months later.

This is the first appeal for Ivan Gonzales. He is also entitled to pursue appeals in federal court, and a second round of appeals in state court, all of which could take years.
I apologize for my not perfect English. Hopefully you understand what I mean. If not - ask me. I will try to explain.

Go Up