Part III: ‘The Aftermath, and A Mother’s Plea’
IB – November 1, 2011 – Following the subsequent death of U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Libardo Anthony Jimenez, Jr., an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his demise was ordered and executed by Command Investigator Captain Timothy Anderlonis.
The investigation included medical facts, and included statements from individuals present that would allow Captain Anderlonis to then make recommendations as to what, if any, degree discipline and responsibility would be appropriate.
Captain Timothy Anderlonis’ opinion said in part, ‘Based upon all statements collected, reports, and the video of the boxing practice, Lance Corporal Jimenez’ death was a tragic, yet unpreventable accident’.
Captain Timothy Anderlonis then gave his recommendation which said in part, ‘A complete copy of this investigation be provided to the Inspector General of the Marine Corps, for possible investigation into the conduct of Head Coach Ronald Simms’.
The statement of Sgt Kyle Wade mentions in part, his opinion that after Lance Corporal Zebulun Wilson Proctor ‘landed a combination that stunned Jimenez, Coach Simms gave Jimenez a standing 8 count and told him he needed to ‘show him something’ if he wanted to be there (All-Marine Boxing Team).There was something clearly wrong with Jimenez’.
The statement of Lance Corporal Timothy Walter Nelams again expresses concern when saying in part, ‘Jimenez said he couldn’t breathe, Coach Simms replied “you better find a way to breathe”, and made Jimenez continue with sparring. After a couple minutes we noticed he wasn’t responding and called the ambulance. While that was happening Coach Simms still resumed training and hadn’t ceased it once just to see how Jimenez was doing, which he should have done’.
The statement of Corporal Damarius Duvall Wade said in part, ‘After the round Jimenez came over to Coach Simms looking dazed, eyes wide open and walking ‘funny’. Coach Simms asked him was he okay, Jimenez did not respond. Coach Simms asked him a few more times and Jimenez started shaking his head ‘NO’. Jimenez, still dazed, stumbled towards me and said that he ‘could not see’. I looked into his eyes and asked him ‘where you at’? He did not respond and began to shake’.
The statement of EMS provider Leon Bass says in part, ‘Several times throughout the treatment we attempted to ask questions of those people who might know about the pt, only to find that the other individuals in the gym seemed oblivious to what was going on and had to be chased down each time a question needed to be answered’.
USMC Gunnery Sergeant Reuben A. Woodruff confirms what may have been a case of ‘sweeping this incident under the rug’, when he sent an e-mail to his Congressman expressing concern for members of the All-Marine Boxing Boxing Team in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina that in part says, ‘While the investigation into the conduct of Ronald Simms was being conducted, he was placed on administrative leave and replaced by current Head Boxing Coach Jesse Ravelo, with the team and assistance coaches instructed to have no contact with Ronald Simms per Headquarters Marine Corps Sports Director Steve Dinote (no longer in this position) and his assistant Jim Medley. As the team began to travel and compete at various events, Ronald Simms appeared, making some boxers feel uncomfortable. I brought this concern directly to Mr. Dinote and Jim Medley, with nothing ever done. With the investigation into the death of Lance Corporal Libardo Anthony Jimenez, Jr. still underway, in December of 2010 USA Boxing invited Ronald Simms to a training camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Supposedly devised of his ineligibility, Ronald Simms was then asked to step down because a U.S. Marine, Corporal Tommy Roque, was attending the camp. Ronald Simms refused to step down, forcing Corporal Roque to miss the camp. In March of 2011, the entire All-Marine Boxing Team was informed that Ronald Simms was found to be unfit to coach the All-Marine Boxing Team, and reassigned to Quantico, Virginia, under MCCS (Marine Corps Community Sports) staff. We were told (unsure if this ever happened) USA Boxing would receive a letter stating Ronald Simms was no longer fit to coach our team. In August 2011, we traveled to Mobile, Alabama, for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing Trials with two Marine boxers, Cpl Jamel Herring and Cpl Damarius Russell, myself, Jesse Ravelo, and Jim Medley present, with Ronald Simms for some odd reason being in attendance. Jim Medley seemed to be okay with this, so I pursued the matter no further. The next day at an Olympic Team meeting, it was shockingly announced that Ronald Simms had been selected as an Olympic Team staff member. Many are concerned with what may have been USA Boxing not being notified and/or done their own investigation (viewing the video) into the reasons why Ronald Simms was relieved of coaching duties with the All-Marine Boxing Team. It is my concern that because Ronald Simms is well-liked in the boxing community and by the MCCS staff, his being unfit for coaching duties is being overlooked. Ronald Simms should not be around any amateur boxing events, and should definitely not be part of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Boxing Team. If this matter is properly looked into and all checks and balances covered, I will stand down on this matter but I do not believe this to be the case’.
The mother of Lance Corporal Libardo Anthony Jimenez, Jr., Ms. Penny Palmer, cannot rest knowing the injustice done her son has the possibility of another suffering the same.
“I have two questions that need be answered”, began Ms. Palmer, “How could the U.S. Marine Corps doctor’s clear my son to participate in boxing practice sessions when he continued to complain of headaches, and how can anyone in their right mind view this video and then allow Ronald Simms to be a boxing coach ANYWHERE, much less the USA Olympic Boxing Team? PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW THIS MAN TO COACH ANOTHER YOUNG MAN”!
Legitimate questions, and a heart wrenching plea from a mother who maybe needlessly lost her son.
Penny Palmer and the family of U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Libardo Anthony Jimenez, Jr. rightfully deserve her questions answered, as well as seeing Ronald Simms banned from amateur boxing.
Part IV: ‘A Hero In Life, And A Hero In Death’…