Paterson pair pleads not guilty in death of 3-year-old girl with brain injury

A Paterson man and woman have pleaded not guilty in the death of her 3-year-old daughter, who authorities believe was also sexually assaulted.

Jonathan Almodovar, 30, and Damarius Lawson, 33, were arraigned Wednesday.

Jonathan Almodovar, 30, and Damarius Lawson, 33, were arraigned Wednesday. (2/3/16)

PATERSON - A Paterson man and woman have pleaded not guilty in the death of her 3-year-old daughter, who authorities believe was also sexually assaulted.

Jonathan Almodovar, 30, and Damarius Lawson, 33, were arraigned Wednesday. Passaic County prosecutors say the pair was involved in a "quasi-romantic" relationship, noting that Almodovar spent a lot of time at Lawson's home, frequently stayed there overnight and often watched her children.

The girl was brought to the hospital on Jan. 20 after suffering a significant brain injury. She died less than a week later on Jan. 26.

The assistant prosecutor alleges that when the couple found out about the investigation, Lawson tried to cover for Almodovar.

Almodovar is charged with murder, aggravated sexual assault and child endangerment.

Lawson is charged with aggravated manslaughter, child endangerment, tampering with a witness and tampering with physical evidence.

Both suspects remain jailed in lieu of bail. Their lawyers declined to comment after the arraignment.

The case will not go before a grand jury.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

A person has barricaded his or herself inside 1 Suspect in custody after Elizabeth standoff; child unharmed
Nassau Police are investigating another Carvel robbery, this 2 Police: Carvel robbed at knifepoint in Westbury
News 12's Elisa DiStefano and Newsday's Anne Bratskeir 3 Spring fashion: All about the sleeves
Police in Paterson investigate whether rapper, city native 4 Police investigate if rapper Fetty Wap involved in Paterson shooting
Police say two teenagers were shot just before 5 Police respond to possible shooting in Jersey City

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE