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Mercy for a murderer

December 4, 2010

TAMPA — She plunged a knife into a man 74 times and called it self-defense.

A jury called it murder.

On Monday, a judge pondered what should become of 18-year-old Yajaira Jimenez-Castillo, who sat silently before him, waiting to be sentenced.

He already knew her story.

It went like this:

Ramon Ramirez Arzola, 23, had tried to grab her breast, called her a dirty name and pulled a knife. Jimenez, then 15, thought he was going to rape her.

She’d been raped before, she swore under oath. It started when she was a little girl, at the hands of two older relatives.

They got away with it.

This man wouldn’t…


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