A Florida mother has been convicted of torturing her toddler to death in the so-called "Baby Lollipops" case that riveted the Miami area decades ago.
Jurors returned their verdict Wednesday in the third trial for 56-year-old Ana Maria Cardona, who was twice sentenced to death for the killing of 3-year-old Lazaro Figueroa, only to have her convictions thrown out by the Florida Supreme Court.
The little boy's body was so malnourished and battered that police could not initially identify him, calling him "Baby Lollipops" because of a T-shirt he wore.
Prosecutors opted not to seek the death penalty this time. Testifying in her own defense, Cardona claimed her former female lover killed the boy after taking him to some other home.
Jurors have begun deliberating the fate of a Florida mother accused of fatally beating her toddler son known as "Baby Lollipops," a case that riveted Miami decades ago.
The 12-person jury began its discussions Wednesday afternoon after hearing closing arguments from prosecutors and the defense in the third trial of 56-year-old Ana Maria Cardona. She faces life in prison if convicted of killing 3-year-old Lazaro Figueroa in 1990.
Two previous convictions were thrown out by the Florida Supreme Court.
Prosecutors say Cardona brutally abused her son for years until finally killing him and hiding his body in bushes. He was named "Baby Lollipops" by police because of a T-shirt he was wearing.
Cardona's lawyer says she was a bad mother and may have abused Lazaro, but did not kill him. Cardona testified earlier that her female lover killed the boy with a baseball bat.
A defense attorney has told jurors that a Florida woman may have been a faulty mother, but she did not fatally beat the toddler who became known as "Baby Lollipops" in a case that riveted Miami decades ago.
Attorney Steve Yermish said in a closing argument Wednesday that jurors have a right to be angry with 56-year-old Ana Maria Cardona for her poor parenting skills. But he said that doesn't mean Cardona killed 3-year-old Lazaro Figueroa.
A prosecutor told jurors Cardona brutally beat Lazaro Figueroa and hid his body. Rubin said the boy was also starving to death, weighing just 18 pounds.
Cardona testified that her female lover killed Lazaro with a baseball bat.
A prosecutor told jurors that a Florida mother brutally abused her son before fatally beating the toddler who came to be known as "Baby Lollipops" in a case that riveted Miami decades ago.
Prosecutor Reid Rubin said in closing 56-year-old Ana Maria Cardona's third murder trial that she killed 3-year-old Lazaro Figueroa and hid his body. Rubin said the boy was beaten throughout his short life and was starving to death, weighing just 18 pounds.
Cardona testified that her female lover killed Lazaro. The defense closing argument is later Wednesday
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