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Keyes man to stand trial in murder of stepdaughter, 4
A Stanislaus Superior Court judge ruled last week that 27-year-old Jeff Artemo Lopez of Keyes, will stand trial for murdering and sexually assaulting his 4-year-old stepdaughter.

Judge John Whiteside said Lopez will return to court on charges that he committed child abuse causing death to Adrianna Jimenez, that he sexually assaulted her and sexual penetration by a foreign object.

The girl was found unconscious in her Keyes home in the 4300 block of Esmar Road on May 29, 2007, noted Sheriff's Department public information officer Royjindar Singh. She had to be resuscitated and was rushed to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. Doctors saw evidence of sexual assault and called authorities. She was later taken by air ambulance to Children's Hospital Oakland where she died.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Robert Lawrence told the court that the child sustained retinal hemorrhages indicating that she had been shaken violently. He suggested only brute force could cause such damage.

Mary Ochoa, the girl's mother, said she didn't believe her husband would harm the girl and suggested that a bruise she saw on little Adrianna "s rib cage that morning was likely from roughly playing with her older brother, who was then 7. The boy also had made sexual motions around the girl.

Ochoa was shopping at the mall when the incident happened. Lopez had been watching his two children and Ochoa's two children when Ochoa was shopping. Lopez called her and said he didn't know why the girl stopped breathing.

She also told the judge that her daughter never complained of being molested nor of anyone hurting her in private areas.

Lopez faces arraignment in Superior Court on Feb. 6. The Hilmar Cheese employee could receive the death penalty if convicted of the charges.

He is being held in the County Jail on $2 million bail.