May 10, 2011 11:47 PM by Zach Thaxton
Hanif Sims wanted to dissolve his daughter's body in a bathtub filled with acid, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing Tuesday in which a judge ruled Sims will face trial on a charge of First Degree Murder in the death of Genesis Sims, age 7 when she died in December 2008.
The revelation was part of testimony during a preliminary hearing for a May 31 trial for Sims. Late last week, prosecutors reached a plea agreement with Monique Lynch, Sims' girlfriend at the time of Genesis' death. Lynch had originally been charged with First Degree Murder in Genesis' death after the girl was found in May 2010 by workers installing a sump pump in a crawlspace beneath a Monument townhome Sims and Lynch shared at the time of Genesis' death in December 2008. Her body had been wrapped with trash bags and covered with a pile of dirt. In exchange for a reduction in charges against her, Lynch agreed to testify against Sims at his upcoming trial.
During Tuesday's preliminary hearing, El Paso County Sheriff's Office Detective Ralph Losasso testified that during an interview with Lynch on April 29, she revealed details of the events leading up to and following Genesis Sims' death. He testified that Lynch said that sometime on or shortly after December 10, 2008 -- Genesis' brother Devon's birthday -- Sims became angry at and threatening toward Genesis. Frightened, she urinated herself, according to Losasso's testimony of Lynch's account. Sims told Genesis to take a shower to clean herself off, but then became angry that she had been showering too long and wasting water. Lynch told the detective that she then witnessed Sims grab and lift Genesis by the throat and punch her in the chest. Lynch said Genesis immediately went limp and unconscious and collapsed in the still-running shower, according to Losasso's testimony.
Sims then tried to revive Genesis via CPR, according to Lynch's description to Detective Losasso, but attempts at saving her life failed. The couple then left Genesis' body in a bed while Sims tried to figure out how to dispose of her remains, Lynch told Losasso. She said that Sims had suggested dissolving Genesis' remains in a bathtub filled with acid purchased from a hardware store, but abandoned that plan after learning a plumber's license was required to obtain such materials. He also considered burning her body in a friend's fireplace, Lynch told Losasso, but ultimately decided to wrap Genesis' remains in trash bags and a laundry bag and bury her in a crawlspace beneath a livingroom closet.
Immediately following Genesis' death, the couple told Genesis' brother Devon and others that Genesis had been sent home to be with her biological mother in New Jersey. The couple moved out of their Monument residence in early 2009, leaving everything, including Genesis' remains, behind.
An autopsy on Genesis Sims suggested her death was the result of homicide, but did not reveal a specific cause. Edward Butler, an investigator with the District Attorney's office, testified Tuesday that, based on the new evidence provided by Monique Lynch, he visited with the El Paso County Coroner on May 2 to discuss the new findings. Butler testified that he told Coroner Robert Bux about Lynch's description of the punch inflicted by Sims upon Genesis' chest and Bux stated that blunt-force trauma to the chest could potentially cause a person's heart to suddenly stop beating. Butler testified that Bux stated be may revisit Genesis' autopsy in consideration of the new findings.
Hanif Sims faces a possible death sentence if convicted of the First Degree Murder charge. The minimum mandatory sentence would be life in prison without parole. In exchange for her testimony, Lynch pleaded guilty to a charge of Child Abuse Resulting in Death, which carries a sentence of 10 to 32 years in prison. Lynch's sentencing is set for June 30. Sims' trial will begin May 31.