OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A woman whose son is accused in her murder was likely still alive when the 25-year-old man and his girlfriend dumped her in a southeast Omaha ditch, a detective said Friday, prompting a judge to raise the girlfriend's bail to $5 million.
Shocked relatives of Jesus Ismenia Marinero gasped and wept in response to Detective Wendi Dye's testimony.
Prosecutors say Roberto Martinez-Marinero repeatedly stabbed Marinero then beat her with a baseball bat at his home May 5 then, with the help of Gabriela Guevara, left the body in the ditch. They say he also dumped his 11-month-old half brother in a trash bin and threw his 4-year-old half brother, Josue Ramirez-Marinero, from an Elkhorn River bridge.
The baby was discovered by a passer-by who heard noises coming from the dumpster. The boy, wearing only a diaper, suffered only bruises. Josue's body was pulled from the river May 15.
Martinez-Marinero is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, kidnapping and a weapons charge. Guevara, 24, is charged with five counts of being an accessory.
Security video from the house opposite Martinez-Marinero's home showed Guevara had been present the night the killings took place, Dye said.
She said the video showed Marinero arriving at her son's house, and Josue and the baby inside her sport utility vehicle. Later, Guevara can be seen moving the SUV, and taking the children out of it, who then mostly played in the yard.
Later, the video shows Guevara helping to carry a blanket-covered body from the house and load it into a car, along with a baseball bat, Dye said. Martinez-Marinero drove away in that car, while Guevara followed him in the SUV with the children.
She said preliminary autopsy results indicate Marinero was not dead at that point.
"I'm concerned after hearing testimony that Jesus was alive when she was dumped," Judge Lawrence Barrett said at the conclusion of Dye's testimony and cross-examination. "Should we be looking at a charge of aiding murder in the first degree?"
Barrett bumped Guevara's bail from $1 million to $5 million.
Marinero's family members declined to comment following the hearing.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said his office is awaiting final autopsy results in Marinero's death.
If it can be determined that Marinero was alive when she was left in the ditch, then he plans to amend the charges against Guevara. If convicted of aiding and abetting first-degree murder, she would face life in prison.
The day after the mother's body was found, Martinez-Marinero walked into an Douglas County jail and confessed to killing her and throwing Josue into the river. He told police he became enraged when his mother hit him and accused him of putting his girlfriend and children before the rest of his family, Dye said.