MIAMI – A Florida woman accused of killing her toddler son in whatis back in court as prosecutors seek a third conviction. The trial began Monday morning for 56-year-old Ana Maria Cardona, who 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 drew the national spotlight 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.
In opening statements, state prosecutors said the child suffered horrendous injuries, reports CBS Miami.
"His left arm was so badly injured that the muscle from elbow to the shoulder had fused into his bone, making it impossible for this young child to extend his arm," said prosecutor Christine Hernandez.
Cardona's defense attorney argued the person who killed the child wasn't Cardona but her partner at the time, Olivia Gonzalez. Gonzalez served nearly 20 years in prison for second-degree murder and has been free for the past nine years, the station reports.
"The person who killed that child is not Ana Cardona, she could not kill her son. It was Olivia Gonzalez killed this child," said defense attorney Manny Alvarez.
The state Supreme Court tossed out Cardona's 2011 murder conviction and death sentence over inflammatory and improper statements made by prosecutors during closing arguments. Cardona's original 1992 conviction and death sentence was overturned because prosecutors failed to disclose key evidence to the defense.