Adoptive Mother in 2011 Barahona Twin Murder-Abuse Case Pleads Guilty

Carmen Barahona to get life sentence after cooperating in prosecution of husband

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More than nine years after a 10-year-old girl was killed and her twin brother was found badly abused and doused with toxic chemicals, their adoptive mother pleaded guilty in a deal that would have her assist in the prosecution of her husband, prosecutors said.

Carmen Barahona, 69, entered a guilty plea Friday in exchange for a sentence of life in prison, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. The sentence is being deferred until after she cooperates in the prosecution of her husband and co-defendant, Jorge Barahona.

NBC 6's Amanda Plasencia explains how the Barahona case rocked the South Florida community nearly a decade ago.

“Today, Carmen Barahona accepted responsibility for the atrocities she inflicted on two innocent children placed in her care and eventually adopted by her and her husband and co-defendant, Jorge Barahona," Fernandez Rundle said.

Carmen and Jorge Barahona were both charged with first-degree murder in the death of 10-year-old Nubia, their adoptive daughter. Her body was found partially decomposed in the back of Jorge's truck on Valentine's Day 2011. Her brother Victor survived, but was badly burned after he was doused with a toxic chemical.

030811 nubia barahona
Nubia Barahona

Authorities said the couple abused the twins for months inside their Miami home, keeping them locked in a bathroom for days at a time with their hands and feet bound.

Prosecutors had previously announced that they'd seek the death penalty against the couple.

"By allowing her to enter her guilty plea today and assist in the prosecution of her husband, we are one step closer to helping the surviving child victim in this case see justice prevail for him and his deceased twin sister, Nubia," Fernandez Rundle said. "My prosecution team remains vigilant in obtaining justice against Jorge Barahona for the horrific acts he is responsible for against these innocent children."

If Carmen Barahona doesn't cooperate, she will face a sentencing hearing before a jury, Fernandez Rundle said.

Victor Barahona later received $3.75 million to complete a settlement with the Department of Children and Families.

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