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State Supreme Court upholds murder, child abuse conviction

State Supreme Court upholds murder, child abuse conviction

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Sufficient evidence was presented to support the verdict of a man convicted last February of killing his infant daughter, the North Dakota Supreme Court has ruled.

A jury convicted Jose Rivera-Reiffel, 24, on murder and child abuse charges for causing the injuries that killed the 3-month-old girl. He was sentenced in August to life in prison without parole.

He appealed the conviction, saying authorities never determined who caused the injuries. Investigators narrowed their search to two people – Rivera-Rieffel and the child’s mother – but decided only that the mother could not have caused the injuries, Rivera-Rieffel’s attorney Benjamin Pulkrabek said in written arguments.

Rivera-Rieffel was the only person with the child on the night of April 18, 2018, when the injuries occurred, and the only person who could have caused them, Burleigh County State’s Attorney Julie Lawyer argued.

The baby died eight days after she was taken to a Bismarck emergency room for treatment of multiple head injuries.

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