Advocates hold vigil in CA teen farmworker death

AP News
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Posted: Mar 07, 2011 8:07 PM
Advocates hold vigil in CA teen farmworker death

The relatives of a pregnant teen who died from heat stroke while working in a California vineyard are joining with the United Farm Workers of America to seek jail for her employers.

The group began a two-day vigil Monday at a Stockton courthouse. They want San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Michael Garrigan to reject a plea deal for two defendants charged with involuntary manslaughter in the teen's death.

Authorities say 17-year-old Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez collapsed after she was denied access to shade and water as she pruned grapes for nine hours in near-triple-digit heat in 2008.

San Joaquin County District Attorney Lester Fleming said a deal in which both defendants would plead to lesser charges is expected to be finalized Tuesday.