Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that today Jorge Depina (age 37), of Pawtucket, was found guilty by a Providence County Superior Court jury of one count of second degree murder for killing his 10-year-old daughter Aleida Depina on July 3, 2013. The jury returned the guilty verdict after a day of deliberations that followed a three-week trial presided over by Superior Court Justice Netti C. Vogel.
During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Depina physically assaulted his daughter causing her death. The jury heard evidence that on July 3, 2013, Pawtucket Police responded to the Miriam Hospital to investigate a suspicious death of a 10-year-old child.
When Detectives David Silva and Donti Rosciti viewed the body, signs of child abuse were readily apparent, including ligature marks on her wrists, scars and other wounds on her back, and what appeared to be whipping marks on her buttocks, arms and upper leg areas and marks and scarring around her neck area.
The medical examiner ruled Aleida's cause of death to be a perforation to her small intestine due to blunt force trauma.
When interviewed by detectives, Jorge Depina said that Aleida did not feel well that morning and refused to eat. He further told detectives that upon returning home from CVS and Home Depot where he purchased an air conditioning unit for her room, he found Aleida vomiting and lapsing in and out of consciousness at which time he brought her to the hospital. He denied any knowledge of the injuries on the child's body and said she had never complained of being in pain.
Detectives testified that when executing a search warrant at the Depina residence, they found a large amount of vomit, significantly more than reported by Depina. Detectives seized items that could be used to inflict physical abuse upon Aleida, as well as a digital video camera.
During the trial, prosecutors showed several videos from that video camera determined to be from the immediate days leading up to Aleida's death. The horrific videos show Depina abusing Aleida, including whipping her and forcing her to sustain physical exercise for several minutes. In one video, although out of camera view, sounds can be heard of what appears to be whipping and Aleida can be heard moaning and crying. The defendant then leads Aleida into a bedroom, back into camera view, and can be heard yelling "Do you want me to kill you" while holding an electrical cord in his hand.
Depina remains held without bail pending sentencing, which is scheduled for May 18, 2018.
Pawtucket Police Detectives David Silva and Donti Rosciti (ret.) led the investigation and Special Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Child Abuse Unit Shannon Signore and Special Assistant Attorney General Alison DeCosta prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.