Posted 1:51 PM 1/30/2012 : Father believed murdered daughter could have been saved
The father of a young girl who was beat to death and had her body buried in the crawl space of a Monument home pleaded guilty on Monday to a single charge of child abuse resulting in death. In exchange for his plea, three other charges against 31 year old Hanif Sims, including first degree murder, were dropped. Sims faces a sentence of between 27 and 40 years in prison. District Court Judge David Miller will issue that sentence on April 24.
As he entered his plea, Sims signed a statement saying, "I believe there is some chance she could have been saved." He appeared in court in dress clothes and hugged his attorney before being handcuffed.
The body of 7 year old Genesis Sims was discovered in May of 2010 in a home where Sims lived with his former girlfriend Monique Lynch. It's believed that she died sometime in mid December of 2008.
Sims and Lynch were arrested at a motel in Henderson, Nevada in July of 2010. During interviews with detectives from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, Sims stated that on the day Genesis was injured he had returned home from the store and found her lying in a bath tub. He explained that the girl had soiled herself and that Lynch became upset and beat her with a belt. He later described Lynch standing over the girl yelling for her to, "get her ass up and quit faking."
In the arrest warrant, Detectives Ralph Losasso and Robert Jaworski also reported that Sims described lying the girl on the bed and that she was breathing shallowly for two days before she was buried. The document further notes that Sims believed she could have been saved if medical attention had been sought.
However, audio recordings of the interview taken at the Henderson jail revealed that Sims never made those statements. Defense attorneys had requested those audio recordings for several months but Losasso and Jaworski testified that they were missing. In December the sheriff's office and prosecutors contacted a detective from the Henderson Police Department to obtain his copy of the recording.
The defense then requested the case be dismissed for misconduct, but Judge Miller denied the motion because of significant other evidence in the case that little to do with the police investigation.
In June of 2011, Lynch guilty to a charge of child abuse resulting in death and was sentenced to 27 years in prison. She was expected to testify against Sims.
Prosecutors also indicated that Genesis' mother Jopetia Garretson had been contacted and agreed to the plea agreement. A gag order remains in place until Sims is sentenced.