Mom in ‘Baby Lollipops' Murder Case Found Guilty

Ana Maria Cardona was sentenced to life in prison

The mother accused of killing her 3-year-old son in the infamous "Baby Lollipops" case dating back to 1990 was found guilty on Wednesday.

For the murder charge, a judge sentenced Cardona to life in prison. For a second count of child abuse, Cardona was sentenced to 15 years to be served consecutively in prison.

Cardona, 56, will be eligible for parole in 25 years.

Jury deliberations began earlier on Wednesday in the murder trial of Cardona – accused of beating her toddler son to death in a case that riveted the Miami area decades ago.

Cardona was convicted and sentenced to death twice before in the 1990 killing of 3-year-old Lazaro Figueroa, whom police could not initially identify and gave the name "Baby Lollipops" because of a T-shirt he was wearing.

"There are wild beasts that show more empathy for their offspring than you showed for Lazaro," the judge said Wednesday during sentencing.

Both previous convictions were thrown out by the Florida Supreme Court. Prosecutors opted not to seek the death penalty this time. Cardona faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

Testifying in her own defense, Cardona claimed her former female lover took the boy to an unknown home where he was killed by the lover.

Her defense argued during closing arguments Wednesday that there's not enough evidence against Cardona, but prosecutors disagreed.

"Injury upon injury. Cheek burned, toes injured. From the top of his toes to deep inside his brain. That child was tortured and abused," prosecutor Reid Rubin said.

Defense attorney Steve Yermish said in his closing argument that jurors have a right to be angry with Cardona for her poor parenting skills. But he said that doesn't mean Cardona killed Figueroa.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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