The Daily Mail
reports that when she told the police in March 2008 that she accidentally killed Eliseo by rolling over him, she sobbed and law enforcement understood her tears to be caused by her feeling of guilt. The confession caused public outrage with people emotionally calling for justice. The media immediately dubbed her the "Half-ton killer."
On Wednesday (October 10), TLC
aired a documentary titled "Half-Ton killer,"
which follows Marya Rosales' trial for capital murder and eventual exoneration.
Even though she told the authorities she killed Eliseo, her attorney Sergio Valdez said he was skeptical of her story from the beginning because the 1,100-pound 31-year-old woman could hardly move let alone roll over and smother a child.
According to NY Daily News
, Valdez describes the moment he first saw Rosales: "When you first walk in, she's got a blanket covering her; there's pillows all around her and so you don't know whether it's pillows or whether it's her." He said even though he had been told she weighed more than five average men, he still was not prepared for what he saw. He said: "We've all seen obese, heavyset people. You have not seen obesity at this level."
Too fat to kill
As investigation of her case proceeded, Rosales' story that she killed her nephew Eliseo failed to convince investigators, especially after doctors determined that the child died from being hit and not smothered under a 1,100-pound human frame.
Valdez said: "We knew something was wrong from the very beginning. We said, 'we're going to have you reenact [how you killed the child] and you can show us.'"
The Daily Mail
reports Valdez said: "It would have required her to have to swing her arm to strike the child on the head but she could never move her arm in that manner. We knew that her size was her best defense because she couldn't move her arm."
Prosecutors also became convinced she could not have committed the crime. Her attorney finally convinced her to stop lying and tell the truth. Testifying from her bed at home, under oath, she finally admitted that her sister, Jamie, killed the child.
She said: "We were all trying to cover for my sister. There was abuse from her towards her son. She yelled at him. She kicked him. On that night Junior didn't want to eat and she got frustrated and she hit him on the head with a hairbrush. I thought I was dying anyway so I decided to admit that I’d done it to protect my sister because I love her."
Rosales said: "Jaime was giving my nephew breakfast and he didn't want to eat. I told her if he was crying he wasn't going to eat, but she got mad, got a brush and hit him on his arms, legs and head which left a bump. Afterwards, she got his Winnie the Pooh blanket, covered him up and put him to bed. Then she went out, leaving me with the children."
According to the Daily Mail
, Eliseo soon began suffering breathing problems. Rosales called for an ambulance. Later in the day, Jaime called Rosales from the hospital, sobbing. She said police would not allow her to see Eliseo. They were demanding to know who hurt the child. Jaime pleaded with Rosales to tell the authorities she was responsible.
Rosales said she accepted to take the blame. She was arrested and charged with capital murder.
She said: "People may not understand this but I wanted to help my sister and I didn't want the authorities to take the other children. I told the investigators that I rolled over to the edge of my bed to where Junior was and my hand slipped and I fell on him with my hand. I fell. I was the one to blame. But only by accident."
According to Rosales, she and her husband Bernie, an immigrant, were living in her sister's home in Sullivan City after she became too large to take care of herself. She said her sister would leave her in the house with the children in spite of the fact that she was bedridden.
The Daily Mail
reports she told Reveal Magazine
: "I was more of a mother than Jaime. Whenever she wanted to go out or go shopping, she didn't take the kids. She would always leave them at home with me."
A hole had to be cut in the side of her home to take her to hospital where she was treated for issues related to her chronic obesity. A courtroom with doors large enough to accommodate her was provided. When she was being moved to the hospital, a removal truck was used. According to Access Hollywood
, she said: "I began retaining more water in my legs and they got so hard. The skin is so stretched out that it hurts. It feels like my legs are going to pop like a balloon. Sometimes the sores open up and water oozes out. I wondered if we should amputate."
By the time she appeared in court, her sister Jaime was on the run. But she eventually appeared in court and pleaded guilty to causing injury to a child.
Jaime is now serving a 15-year sentence.
TLC's 'Half-Ton Killer?'
Rosales told Access Hollywood
that when she saw the TLC documentary she "cried the whole, the whole time I was watching it."
According to Access Hollywood
, Marya has now lost 600 pounds, dropping in bodyweight from over 1,000 to 400. She said: “Now you can see where my legs, my knees [are]. Before you could not [tell] if it was knees or pillow [beneath the blanket]. The skin before was stretched and now it’s loose skin… So it’s very, very different.”
She also said she does a few hours of physical therapy every day and she now walks. She said: “I think it’s about 36 steps. I began with two, three steps. Now I’m walking like half the hall, and my goal is to walk with no support.”
But how did she gain so much weight?
She explained to Acess Hollywood
: “My family, we are, we've always been, you know, chubby. My sisters and my mom [are] in the 200s, 220. I was too, and I noticed I began gaining weight, getting bigger. I didn't know back then it was my thyroid and from the thyroid it got so big [that] I developed lymphedema, the swelling of your limbs.”
According to Access Hollywood
, she will undergo gastric bypass surgery when she gets leaner and fitter.
Marya says she feels no resentment toward Jaime Rosales, her sister. She said about her sister who is now in prison: "I did receive a letter and I answered her. We love each other. There’s no grudges, I don’t resent nothing. It’s worth all that I've been through if I can help at least just one person, you know, they’re going through the same situation.”