Opening statements began Monday for the third trial of a Florida woman accused of killing her toddler son in what became known as the "Baby Lollipops" case.
Ana Maria Cardona, 56, faces life in prison if convicted. Two previous convictions and death sentences were tossed out by the Florida Supreme Court. Prosecutors decided against seeking death a third time.
The death of her 3-year-old son Lazaro Figueroa was huge news after the boy's body, weighing 18 pounds and badly beaten, was discovered in the bushes of a Miami Beach home in November 1990. Police initially could not identify the boy and called him "Baby Lollipops" after a design on his T-shirt.
"It was at her hand and it was under her watch that little Lazaro sustained these horrific injuries," prosecutor Tristina Hernandez said during opening statements Monday.
Cardona has said the boy's death was an accident.
Cardona’s attorneys are trying to show the jury that the real killer was Cardona’s girlfriend, Olivia Gonzalez-Mendoza.
"Ana Cardona was a terrible mother. Ana Cardona did not lead a very good life. And I have no doubt that when you hear the testimony in this case, you are not going to like her, you’re not going to like her but the question in this case is not whether you like her or not how shocking this evidence is question in this case is who actually killed that child," defense attorney Stephen Yermish said.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty but are seeking life in prison if Cardona is convicted. The trial is expected to last two weeks.