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"Baby Lollipops" Killer Could Get Death Sentence; Ana Maria Cardona Was Convicted Twice in 20-Year Case

"Baby Lollipops" Killer Sentencing Hearing Resumes
Ana Maria Cardona (CBS/WFOR/Miami-Dade Corrections Dept.)

MIAMI (CBS/WFOR) For a second day, jurors are hearing testimony to set sentence for Ana Maria Cardona, the Florida mother convicted earlier this year in the 1990 death of her 3-year-old son Lazaro Figueroa, better known as "Baby Lollipops."

The issue: Will the woman live out her days in prison, or be sentenced to death?/p>

CBS affiliate WFOR reports that on Monday, prosecutors portrayed Cardona as a torturer who cared little about her child, abusing him constantly throughout his brief life.

But the defense told the jury that the Ana Cardona who sits before them today is not the same woman who killed her son 20 years ago. They say she has turned her life over to God and attends prison church services almost daily.

"As she sits here today, she has good in her heart," her defense attorney said according to WFOR.

Cardona's first conviction in 1992 was set aside because of procedural problems in the first trial. After hearing the evidence against her for the second time, a new jury again found her guilty earlier this year.

Toddler Lazaro Figueroa was killed in November of 1990. His body was found dumped beneath a hedge in the yard of a Miami Beach home. The boy had been starved, beaten and burned. He was only 18 pounds when he was murdered, half of what he should have weighed.

The boy, whose identity was not known when his body was discovered, was given the name "Baby Lollipops" because of the tiny white t-shirt he was wearing with lollipops on the front.

In the retrial, the defense claimed Cardona gave her son to a babysitter, Gloria Pi, months before his death. Originally Pi confessed to the murder, but later recanted.  Pi testified in the retrial that she did not know Lazaro Figueroa, had never even seen the boy, and that her initial confession was the result of prompting by detectives who put words in her mouth.

In the end, the jury convicted Cardona for a second time.