Prosecutors say a woman in Idaho has agreed to admit that she tried to kill her partially paralyzed husband by suffocating him with a garbage bag as he slept in their living room.
Mildred Nineth Rivero, 57, formerly known as Mildred Nineth Hope, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of felony first-degree attempted murder for the 2021 attack on her then-husband, prosecutors confirmed to Law&Crime.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Rivero will admit to the attempted murder charge in exchange for prosecutors dropping one count of felony attempted strangulation and one count of felony evidence destruction by alteration or concealment. Rivero’s court-appointed public defender reached the deal with the Cassia County Prosecutor’s Office following a court mediation session last week.
In a plea advisory form filed with the court, Rivero wrote that she was pleading guilty to the charge because “It is the way to go,” according to a report from the Times-News.
Cassia County Prosecutor McCord Larsen agreed not to seek a sentence in excess of 12 years, four of which would be served in prison. The prosecutor’s office further noted that the victim filed for and was granted a divorce from Rivero last year.
According to previous reports, police on Sunday, September 19, 2021 responded to a call about a possible domestic disturbance at a residence in southeast Burley, Idaho. Upon arriving at the scene, first responders reportedly found Rivero in the living room of the home sitting on a couch. Officers then spoke with the husband and wife separately.
Rivero’s husband reportedly said that at approximately 6 p.m. that evening he sat down in a chair in the living room to take a nap, placing a small blanket over himself and reclining his chair all the way back. Rivero, the husband said, grabbed him a second blanket from their home office and put it over him. He reportedly said that when Rivero placed the blanket over him she tucked the edges of the blanket “into the chair very tightly,” per the Times-News.
The man reportedly said that he fell asleep in the chair but woke up in a sudden panic when a small white plastic garbage bag had been placed over his head.
“Due to the combination of the paralysis, the blanket being tucked tightly around him and [Rivero] holding him down, he began fighting for his life,” the Times-News reported. “He told police he struggled as he became deprived of oxygen but was able to tear a small hole in the bag and take a breath. [Rivero] then repositioned and tightened the bag and he again began to fight to breathe.”
But even after Rivero’s husband was able to tear a hole in the bag, Rivero allegedly continued her efforts to suffocate him, reportedly repositioning the bag atop his head and attempting to hold it in place. It was only when Rivero’s husband “was able to dig his feet into the footrest of the recliner and push back” that the chair finally broke and the man was reportedly able to roll onto the floor to safety.
He reportedly said that as he was lying on the floor and looking up Rivero grabbed the garbage bag as well as “two black tie-down straps” and walked out of the living room. The husband reportedly called his sister and told her about the incident. His sister then called the police.
Officers took Rivero into custody that evening. During an interview with investigators, she reportedly told police they should look for the garbage bag used in the alleged attempted murder in the garbage.
A probable cause affidavit reportedly said that police found an empty garbage bag in a trash can “stuffed halfway down” the bin and “covered with wastepaper and food.” It also reportedly had “two stretch marks on it the size of hands and fingers with two small holes in it,” the Times-News reported. The two black tie-down straps were reportedly recovered from the home office.
Per the Times-News, Rivero and her husband had met two years prior to the attempted murder incident, in September 2019. The pair married less than six months later, in February 2020. Rivero’s husband said he suffered a stroke and lost the functional use of approximately 80-percent of the right side of his body approximately six years earlier.
Court records reviewed by Law&Crime show that Rivero is scheduled to appear before Judge Michael P. Tribe on March 14, 2022 to formally enter her guilty plea.
[image via Mini-Cassia Criminal Justice Center]
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