The “Half-Ton Killer” has lost half her weight, but she may never be able to shed her nickname years after she was exonerated in the death of her nephew.
Now more than 600 pounds lighter, the Texas woman is speaking out about the tragic case that threw her in the spotlight, revealing the truth about why she took the fall for her sister and what really happened that day.
“I wanted to protect my sister and her children — I didn’t want them taken away,” she told Anderson Cooper this week in an interview for his daytime talk show.
Rosales says her sister Jaime beat Eliseo because she was frustrated, and then left the house before realizing the injuries were fatal.
“She was in a hurry, she was running late,” Rosales said. “My nephew, he was diagnosed with ADD, and I think maybe it was too much for her and she just wanted him to eat his breakfast. He didn’t want to eat so she began hitting him with a brush … a hairbrush and put him down to sleep.”
It was only after Jaime left the home that Rosales noticed the little boy was in pain and began to worry.
“When she was gone, he began crying — a different kind of cry,” she said. “Then I turned on the light I saw he had a little bump on his head. I began calling her. That was my great mistake — instead of calling emergency help, I called her. I didn’t know what to do.”
Rosales told police the boy’s death was her fault, and that she had accidentally rolled over him while lying down and quickly garnered the nickname the “Half-Ton Killer” in the media.
Rosales had to be removed from her home by 10 police officers after falsely confessing to killing her nephew.
She was later found to be innocent, and her defense argued she physically could not have inflicted the injuries on the boy since her weight left her bedridden. Her sister Jaime was convicted and sentenced to 15 years behind bars.
Recently profiled in the TLC film “Half-Ton Killer?” Rosales says she is now feeling “a whole lot different and healthier” and continues to lose weight.
Despite the tragic death of her nephew and the ordeal she went through to shield her sister, she says she doesn’t harbor any ill will against Jaime.
“She just wrote to me, and she just says she is sorry and if I can please forgive her,” she told Cooper. “I did forgive her. I don’t have nothing against her.”
When asked how she could forgive a convicted child abuser who killed her nephew, Rosales says, “Maybe (it) seem wrong but I love her. She’s still my sister and I love her.”
In fact, Rosales said recently that being arrested in the death of her nephew was actually a catalyst that pushed her to lose weight, by forcing her to realize she needed to change her life.
Now living in a nursing home in Houston, she has said she plans to continue her weight loss and to one day have gastric bypass surgery.
“I want to go back to my family, to my husband,” she told Cooper. “Be healthy and begin participating in family events and back into social life.”