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Preview: Defense attorney claims evidence to show client's innocence

WORTHINGTON -- Public Defender Cecil Naatz filed a motion asking Judge Timothy Connell to dismiss the first-degree murder indictment against his client, Josue Robles Fraga, stating certain evidence was not disclosed to the grand jury but inadmissible evidence was.

Assistant Attorney General Bill Klumpp filed paperwork of his own during the omnibus hearing, handing the judge a notice of evidence of additional offenses to be offered at trial. The notice claims that Fraga, between March 2002 and March 2008, engaged in sexual contact with a child with whom he has a significant relationship -- a different child than the one he is accused of sexually assaulting and killing.

Fraga was taken into custody in March 2008, just days after bringing his unconscious and unresponsive 2-year-old niece Samantha to the hospital, where she was later declared dead. Autopsy evidence shows Samantha died of head injury, but also had multiple contusions on her legs and arms, a tear in the wall of her stomach and had acute injuries to her genital area and anus.

When Samantha was brought to the hospital, she had a core body temperature of 84 degrees, which led the autopsy physician to state she had been dead for 4 to 8 hours before being brought to the hospital by Fraga and his wife.

Naatz claims that DNA evidence from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) that excludes Fraga as the source of semen found on Samantha's diaper should have been available for the grand jury to consider.

"We believe we have major evidence that shows Mr. Fraga is innocent," Naatz told the Daily Globe last week, "We think this is the type of evidence that may have influenced the grand jury."

Klumpp told the judge the exclusion of Fraga as a contributor to the semen found on the diaper is a mischaracterization of the evidence because anal, vaginal and oral areas on the girl's body tested negative for semen, prompting the prosecution to believe she was sexually assaulted with an object.

For the rest of the story, read tomorrow's Daily Globe.