Family of murder victim upset over child's placement - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Family of murder victim upset over child's placement

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It's been almost a week since Sioux Fall's third homicide.

Beverly Guerra was stabbed to death in her apartment.

The suspect is her boyfriend, 28-year-old Michael Richard Martinez.

Her family is very sad Beverly isn't here anymore with them, but they're staying close.

The biggest thing they're concerned about right now, is what will happen to Beverly's children.

Especially the one she had with Martinez.

For the third time in seven months, Take Back the Site held a vigil for another victim of violence.

"What stands out is that they were all women," said Jean Bahatti who organizes each vigil.

"I hope this is the end of the line for a few and there won't be any more," Bahatti added.

Tonight's vigil was for Beverly Guerra.

"It's hard we're trying our best to move forward and trying to just be there as much as possible for my nieces and my nephews who lost their mother," said Beverly's sister Kimberly Guerra.

She doesn't only have to deal with losing her sister, but also her 11-month-old niece.

"My sister's baby is being given away to her father that murdered my sister. And he didn't even sign for the birth certificate or anything, she has our last name and he pretty much didn't even sign anything for her and they're giving all rights to him," added Kimberly.

She said Department of Social Services decided to give custody to 28-year-old Michael Richard Martinez, the baby's father.

The same man who is accused of killing Beverly, the baby's mother.

"DSS says since he's the father, the biological father, that he has all rights," explained Kimberly.

Martinez is currently in jail.

"He has to sign over papers, I guess to his family because he's giving the baby to his family, but we honestly don't think that's fair because if my sister was here she would want the baby to be with us," Kimberly continued.

She said her family isn't done fighting.

"He told them personally they would be hearing from his lawyer. Hopefully we will be able to get her back or something because we really want to keep her with us," she said.

The family feels it's unfair for the baby to go to her father because of what he allegedly did her mother.

Kimberly said Beverly did everything she could for her children, and was trying to give them a good life.

Martinez is currently in the Minnehaha County Jail on a $1 million bond.

He's facing murder and manslaughter charges for Guerra's death.


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