Case Against Man Accused in Stepdaughter’s Death Ends in Hung Jury for Second Time

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STANISLAUS COUNTY -- It was a hung jury not once but twice for a Stanislaus County man accused of abusing his 4-year-old stepdaughter, resulting in her death in 2007.

It has been 11 years of courtrooms, hearings and two jury trials in 4-year-old Adrianna Jimenez’s death. For the second time Wednesday, with new jurors, her stepfather Jeff Lopez's child abuse trial resulted in a hung jury.

One of the jurors spoke to FOX40 and asked to hide her identity.

"Didn’t feel that that was proof enough that he had caused the blunt trauma to her head," she said.

Investigators say Adrianna was found unconscious back in 2007 at a home on Esmar Road in rural Stanislaus County. They believe Lopez sexually assaulted and abused her.

"I do feel very badly for Adrianna’s family, the little girl. They were there every single day just hoping, hoping against hope, that this would be resolved," the juror told FOX40.

FOX40 also spoke to the preschooler’s father, Johnny Jimenez, over the phone.

"But getting the hung jury... there’s nothing I can do," Jimenez said. "It’s out of our hands, it is in God’s hands."

Jimenez said while the latest result is heartwrenching, the positive things Adrianna has done in her life stays close to his heart.

"Adrianna was very beautiful. She’s very loving of her siblings, her family," Jimenez told FOX40.

He said the life she has given to help strangers helps him move forward. "In her passing she was able to save four people’s lives."

The District Attorney's office said they cannot comment because this is a pending case.

Daniel Russo, Lopez's attorney, gave a statement to FOX40:

Mr. Lopez adamantly denied abusing the child. He testified to exactly what happened. Even his ex-wife testified that he never used force on any of his or her children. His life was destroyed by the allegations combined with a coerced confession to acts that were disproved by the prosecutions own forensic evidence. Mr. Lopez still grieves for his stepdaughter and wants to get on with his life.

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