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Messages - turboprinz

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New Date: 2/1/2018 as of Texas Department of Criminal Justice
2
In rare move, Vietnam announces execution date of jilted lover behind family massacre
November 15, 2017

 It is extremely unusual for the country to give the public prior notice of an execution.

The murder of six family members that shocked the entire nation more than two years ago has resurfaced now that judges have announced that the killer will be executed this Friday.

It is extremely unusual for Vietnam to inform the public of an execution beforehand, but the announcement seems fit for a case that caught widespread media and public attention, with many calling it "a massacre". It also serves public interest in a country where there is still strong belief that capital punishment is the answer to serious crimes.

Nguyen Hai Duong, 26, was found guilty of a murder-robbery that took place in July 2015 in Binh Phuoc Province, three hours north of Saigon.

He will be put to death by poison injection, the province's People's Court said late Tuesday. He has been held in the province's prison and his condition is "stable", one judge said.

According to the indictment, Duong devised a plan to kill the family after they opposed his relationship with their daughter, leading them to break up.

Duong told his accomplice, Vu Van Tien, they were going to rob the family's villa.

On the morning in question, they arrived at the villa armed with knives and proceeded to stab Duong's estranged girlfriend, her parents, brother and two cousins to death. They left sparing the family's 18-month baby, taking cash and gadgets worth around $2,200.

Both Duong and Tien were arrested days later and sentenced to death in late 2015.

Duong accepted his punishment, but Tien, also 26, filed an appeal, which was rejected by the Supreme People's Court in July last year.

Tien has filed a petition to Vietnam's president.

Vietnam reduced the number of crimes subject to capital punishment from 45 to 22 between 1993 and 2012, and is set to bring the number down to 17 from the beginning of next year.

The country, which switched to lethal injection from firing squad in 2011, was one of 55 countries to still impose the death sentence in 2016, according to statistics from Amnesty International.

Official figures from Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security showed that 429 prisoners were executed between August 2013 and June 2016.

Earlier this year, the ministry said it was building five more execution facilities. Serious crimes, including drug-related offenses, murder and rape, have not seen a downtrend, it said.

https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/in-rare-move-vietnam-announces-execution-date-of-jilted-lover-behind-family-massacre-3670678.html
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Scheduled Executions / Michael Pruitt - PA - 12/29/2017
November 16, 2017, 06:30:41 PM
Date set for execution of Sunday school teacher's killer Michael Pruitt scheduled to die on December 29
Nov 08, 2017

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A man convicted more than a decade ago of committing one of Reading's most brutal murders now has a date with the executioner.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections announced Wednesday that Secretary John Wetzel signed a notice of execution for Michael Pruitt.

He's scheduled to die by lethal injection on December 29.

Pruitt has been on death row since May 3, 2005, when he was sentenced for the murder of Greta Gougler in Reading three years earlier.

Gougler was a 69-year-old Sunday school teacher who was robbed, raped, and strangled inside her home on North Ninth Street on September 28, 2002.

A jury from Montgomery County was bused to Reading for the trial because of extensive pre-trial publicity given to the case in Berks.

http://www.wfmz.com/news/berks/date-set-for-execution-of-sunday-school-teachers-killer/653501023
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give the scumbag a face....
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give the scumbag a face....
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Kimberly Diane Cargill / Re: Kimberly Cargill - Texas
November 01, 2017, 11:16:24 AM
Kimberly Cargill loses U.S. Supreme Court appeal in the 2010 slaying of Cherry Walker in Whitehouse
30 October 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review the appeal of Kimberly Cargill, a Whitehouse woman on death row for the 2010 slaying of her developmentally disabled baby sitter.

Cargill, 50, was convicted in 2012 in Smith County. The court did not comment on its reasons for refusing the appeal, and Cargill does not have a set execution date.

Cargill was convicted of causing the asphyxiation of 39-year-old Cherry Walker in June 2010. Court records show her lawyers have until late April 2018 to file a more extensive appeal in a federal district court and that state attorneys will have three months to respond to that appeal.

At her trial, prosecutors said Cargill was facing a child abuse investigation and that she had already lost custody of one of her two children. They argued she killed Walker to keep her from testifying at a custody hearing. Walker's body, found on the side of a road in Smith County, had been doused with lighter fluid and set on fire. An autopsy determined she was asphyxiated.

Cargill testified that Walker had suffered a seizure and stopped breathing while she was driving Walker home, and that she panicked and didn't seek medical help. She said she set Walker's body on fire to eliminate any of her own DNA that may have been on the victim.

The victim's stepmother told Cargill that her stepdaughter had loved her after a death sentence was handed down by a Smith County jury in 2012. "Ms. Cargill, Cherry loved you and she loved (your son)," Rueon Walker said during the victim impact statement. "She didn't deserve the horrible thing you did. You took her away from people that loved her.

"When I saw my baby in the morgue, her eyebrows singed. ... You took away my memories of her," Mrs. Walker told Cargill. "I couldn't give her a beautiful pink dress. All I had was a black body bag. ... We don't hate you. We only have love, pity and compassion for you. Jesus loves you, and he will forgive you."

Following the 2012 trial, then-Prosecutor April Sikes said in her opinion, Ms. Walker left a legacy of protection for Cargill's children.

"They are safe, now," she said then.

Cargill is one of six women on death row in Texas, which is the most active capital-punishment state in the U.S. and has executed six prisoners so far this year.

http://www.tylerpaper.com/TP-News+Local/309540/kimberly-cargill-loses-us-supreme-court-appeal-in-the-2010-slaying-of-cherry-walker-in-whitehouse
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Mesac Damas sentenced to death for Sept. 2009 slaying of his wife and five children
Oct. 27, 2017

http://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/crime/2017/10/27/mesac-damas-sentenced-death-family-slaying/762974001/

Mesac Damas has been sentenced to death.

After more than eight years, the sentence handed down Friday morning by Collier Circuit Judge Christine Greider -- six counts of death, one for each family member he murdered -- finally brings resolution to the most horrifying Southwest Florida murder case in recent memory; a case that shocked the region at its onset, and then repeatedly frustrated the community -- as well as the family members of the victims -- through seemingly endless delays.

"In reaching this decision, the court is mindful that, because death is a unique punishment in its finality, its application is reserved only for those cases where only the most aggravating and least mitigating circumstances exist," Greider said at the end of the 1 ˝-hour long proceeding.

The aggravating factors proven beyond a reasonable doubt in this case outweigh the mitigating circumstances reasonably established by the evidence and warrant that the defendant, Mesac Damas, be sentenced to death. There is nothing in the defendant's background or mental state that would suggest that a death sentence is disproportionate."

it was September 2009, when Damas brutally killed his wife, Guerline Dieu Damas, 32, and the couple's five young children -- Michzach, 9, Marven, 6, Maven, 5, Megan, 3, and Morgan 1 -- slicing their throats with a filet knife inside their North Naples townhouse, bending the blade in the attacks. At the time, Collier Sheriff Kevin Rambosk called the killings "the most horrific and violent event" in county history.

Damas, now 41, fled to Haiti, where he was born and raised, but authorities soon located him.

While being transported from Haiti back to Florida, Damas confessed his guilt to the Daily News. Did you kill them? Yes, I did. Why? Only God knows.

He was driven to kill by the devil, he said. He wanted death. He wanted to be buried with his family. He expected to go to Heaven.

This focus on God and religion and spirits and demons - a tense mix of Evangelical Christianity and traditional Haitian Voodoo -- would continue throughout his time in the Collier County jail and during his court appearances. Early on he was prone to courtroom outbursts, begging to be put to death and imploring a courtroom gallery to come to Jesus. He has maintained that he was "possessed by demons" at the time of the crime.

In jail he fasted, leading to drastic weight fluctuations. He was, he said, trying to starve out the demons. He also shared his Christian faith with other inmates.

It was a lapse in faith before the killings had left him vulnerable to a demonic attack or hex, he would later tell a defense expert, a specialist in Haitian religion.

His court case was marked by fits and stops -- a trip to a state mental hospital, challenges to the state's death penalty law, and a rotating door of public defenders and judges (Greider was the fourth judge to oversee Damas' case).

Toward the end, Damas virtually shut down in court, refusing to participate in hearings or speak with his court-appointed lawyers. He wanted to represent himself in court; a request that was denied.

In early September, Greider allowed Damas to plead guilty to the six counts of first-degree murder. He waived his right to a jury. He also waived his right to have his attorneys present mitigating evidence in his favor.

On Tuesday, when Greider asked Damas if he still wanted to waive his right to mitigating evidence, he refused to speak. Instead, he wrote her a note.

"Go ahead, continue your work, may my blood be upon your shoulders."

He signed the note, "COG" -- Child of God.
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08 Aug 2016

Shonda Walter, the only woman on Pennsylvania's death row, had her sentence thrown out by a judge who cited inadequate representation at her trial in the 2003 hatchet killing of her 83-year-old neighbor, reported The Associated Press.

Clinton County Senior Judge Michael Williamson sentenced Walter, 37, to life in prison without the possibility of parole, saying she had "totally incompetent counsel in the penalty phase" of her 2005 trial. Prosecutors had agreed not to seek the death penalty again, Williamson noted.

Walter killed James Sementelli, a veteran of the Pearl Harbor attack, in his Lock Haven home so she could steal his car and sell it to pay off court debts and to gain entry into a street gang, prosecutors said. He sustained more than 60 wounds, 18 fractures and 45 bruises, many of them to his head, face and neck, authorities said.

Evidence presented at trial indicated that Walter then drove his car to Williamsport but later returned to flush away a cigarette butt she had left in a toilet. Sementelli's body was discovered six days later. The hatchet, which contained his blood, was found along a rural road near Williamsport.

Before trial, Walter had rejected a plea agreement that would have avoided the possibility of the death penalty. A jury took less than 30 minutes to convict her of first-degree murder.

In her appeal, Walter argued that her trial lawyer openly conceded her guilt and filed an appeal that one judge described as "unintelligible." She had sought a new lawyer but was rejected.

Walter, whose sentence was vacated on July 26, had been the only woman on Pennsylvania's death row. Another woman, Michelle Sue Tharp, had her death sentence thrown out in 2014 and, according to online court records, is awaiting resentencing for starving her 7-year-old daughter.

As of Aug. 1, the state's death row had 176 men on it, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. In February 2015, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced a temporary moratorium on executions, calling the state's capital punishment system error prone and expensive.

Since reinstating the death penalty in the mid-1970s, Pennsylvania has executed three inmates, all of whom dropped their appeals.

http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/shonda-waters-escapes-death-row/2016/08/08/id/742564/
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New sentencing for condemned mom who starved girl
Michelle Sue Tharp was sentenced to die after being found guilty of killing Tausha Lanham

Sep 25, 2014


PITTSBURGH --

A woman on death row for starving her 7-year-old daughter will get a new sentencing hearing, the state's highest court ruled, saying her trial attorney didn't introduce enough evidence about her troubled childhood and diminished mental capacity.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that another Washington County jury must retry the penalty phase in the trial of 45-year-old Michelle Sue Tharp, of Burgettstown.
   
The court found "there is a reasonable probability that at least one juror" might have voted against the death penalty after Tharp was convicted of first-degree murder in the April 1998 death of her third child, Tausha Lee Lanham. The girl weighed less than 12 pounds and was just 31 inches tall.
   
Tausha was the third of Tharp's four children and was premature when she was born in 1990, requiring hospitalization for the first year of her life. Trial evidence showed Tharp resented that, treating her other children well but refusing to regularly feed Tausha or seek medical care for her.
   
"The family would eat dinner while Tausha was either kept in the pantry or trapped in a corner of the kitchen by pieces of furniture," the appeals court noted. Tharp also instructed her boyfriend, Douglas Bittinger Sr., not to feed the girl while Tharp was away.
   
"Accordingly, on multiple occasions, two or three days would pass without Tausha getting any food or drink. This led her to sneak and eat cake mix or dog food from the pantry, eat bread thrown outside for birds, eat from the garbage, and drink from the toilet," the court noted.
   
Although family and friends contacted child welfare workers, they didn't intervene because Tharp would remove the girl from the home before caseworkers would visit.
   
When Tharp found the girl dead in bed, she and Bittinger drove to an Ohio mall, bought garbage bags and dumped the girl's remains in a remote area before reporting she had been abducted. Both later confessed to dumping the girl's body, though Tharp denied starving the girl and said she died from health conditions that rendered her unable to thrive.
   
Bittinger, now 42, is serving 15 to 30 years in prison for his lesser plea to third-degree murder.
   
Although the court found there was overwhelming evidence that Tharp purposely starved the girl, the appeals court ruled her attorney erred by not introducing a doctor's opinion that Tharp "had a borderline range of intellectual functioning, and was markedly impaired in her ability to employ common sense or logical analysis."
   
Tharp's trial attorney also failed to introduce independent evidence that she was affected by her "mother's abandonment, her father's drug-dealing, and her step-mother's physical abuse" and physical abuse by men as an adult.
   
Juries must be unanimous in recommending the death penalty. The court found it likely one of the 12 jurors might have changed his or her vote, which would have resulted in an automatic life sentence without parole instead.
   
No new date has been set for the new death penalty phase.

http://www.wtae.com/article/new-sentencing-for-condemned-mom-who-starved-girl/7468007
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Debra Denise Brown / Re: Case sumary
October 29, 2017, 05:35:54 PM
DEBRA DENISE BROWN, Petitioner, v. SHIRLEY ROGERS, et al., Respondents.
United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division.
March 27, 2017.

https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20170329h15
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Death sentence thrown out in murders of couple buried alive
Florida Supreme Court throws out 4 death sentences
June 29, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court is ordering new sentencing hearings for four inmates currently on the state's death row, including a woman convicted for her role in the 2005 murders of a Jacksonville couple who were buried alive.

The high court on Thursday threw out the sentences because a jury did not unanimously recommend the death penalty. Last year, the court ruled death sentences have to be unanimous, which the court put in place in response to U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

The state court said anyone sentenced after a 2002 ruling could be eligible for a new sentence.

Among those getting a new hearing is Tiffany Ann Cole. She was one of three people convicted and sentenced to death for the 2005 murders of Carol and Reggie Sumner. 

The couple were kidnapped from their St. Nicholas home, driven to ATMs to make withdrawals, then buried alive in Charlton County, Georgia.

Cole's lawyers claimed six appeals grounds, including ineffective counsel by the trial lawyer. They were all denied, but the state Supreme Court cited the Hurst decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which found part of Florida's death penalty law unconstitutional.

The state Supreme Court also noted its recent ruling that death sentences must be unanimous, even retroactively. Cole's death sentence was a 9-3 verdict.

She will get a new sentencing hearing.

The other two who were convicted in the case were Michael Jackson (8-4) and Alan Wade (11-1), so they will likely get new hearings as well. They were tried separately.

A fourth person, Bruce Nixon, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 years in prison. He testified against all three co-defendants.

One of the other inmates who were ordered Thursday by the Florida Supreme Court to get a new sentencing hearing is Michael Bargo, convicted for taking part in a teenager's 2011 torture and slaying.

https://www.news4jax.com/news/death-sentence-thrown-out-in-murders-of-couple-buried-alive

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Emilia Carr / Re: Emilia Carr
October 29, 2017, 05:20:11 PM
Woman on death row resentenced to life in prison
Updated Jun 6, 2017

Emilia Carr, once Marion County's only female death row inmate, will now spend the rest of her life in prison.

After an evidentiary hearing May 19, the State declined to seek a new death penalty phase, according to court records, and 5th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Willard Pope resentenced Carr, 32, to life in prison without parole. She has been fighting her death sentence since 2011. There are now only three women on death row in the state of Florida.

A Marion County jury in 2010 found Carr guilty as charged of kidnapping and first-degree murder in the 2009 death of 26-year-old Heather Strong. Carr and her boyfriend, co-defendant Joshua Fulgham, 35, lured his estranged wife, Strong, to a storage trailer in Boardman in north Marion County.

When Carr arrived, Strong tried to leave and a scuffle ensued. Fulgham held Strong down as Carr taped her to a chair. Fulgham then forced Strong to sign a document that gave him custody of their two children.

Carr placed a garbage bag over Strong's head and Fulgham held it tight and wrapped tape around his wife's neck. Carr tried twice to break Strong's neck. Carr said Fulgham then put his hands over Strong's nose and mouth, and suffocated her.

Strong's body was found near the trailer four days later.

The jury voted 7-5 to recommend death for Carr. Fulgham was sentenced to life in 2012 with a vote of 8-4.

Carr appealed her sentence, raising several issues including possible errors by the trial judge and the proportionality of the death sentence.

In 2015, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed Carr's death sentence.

"This case involves a love triangle between the victim, Heather Strong, her estranged husband, Joshua Fulgham, and the defendant, Emilia Carr, that ended when Carr and Fulgham carried out their plan to murder Strong," the high court wrote in its decision.

Carr restarted the appeal process, claiming ineffective assistance from her lawyer. It was during an evidentiary hearing on this appeal that her fate changed.

Neither the State or defense attorneys were available Tuesday for comment.

Carr's resentencing comes at a pivotal time for Florida's death penalty.

After being ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in January 2016, Florida's death sentence scheme became a topic of debate and revision. The Florida Supreme Court released an opinion in October 2016 calling for a unanimous jury.

In March of this year, Gov. Rick Scott signed new rules requiring a unanimous jury decision for the death sentence. The Florida Supreme Court is still hammering out final jury instructions for the new death sentence scheme.

Several appeals for resentencings have entered the state Supreme Court's queue. Of the now seven convicted Marion County murderers on death row, one is arguing for a reduced sentence of life on an intellectual disability claim, two were granted resentencing by the Florida Supreme Court, the other four are still fighting their death sentence with various appeals.

Eight Marion County defendants await sentencing in death penalty-eligible cases. Kelvin Coleman is scheduled to be the first local defendant to put the state's new death penalty ruling to the test. Jury selection for the penalty phase of his trial starts Aug. 21. Coleman was convicted in October 2016 of two counts of first-degree murder.

http://www.ocala.com/news/20170606/woman-on-death-row-resentenced-to-life-in-prison
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Tina Brown remains on death row for brutal murder
May 22, 2014


The Florida Supreme Court unanimously upheld the conviction and death penalty sentence of a Pensacola woman convicted of beating a 19-year-old with a crowbar, shocking her with a stun gun and then setting her on fire, according to the State Attorney's Office.

In 2012, Tina Lasonya Brown, 43, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Audreanna Zimmerman.

Brown, her daughter, Britnee Miller, then 16, and neighbor Heather Lee, then 27, attacked Zimmerman in Brown's Ensley home in 2010.

After beating and stunning her, the trio put Zimmerman in the trunk of a car, drove her to a wooded area off Lepley Avenue, doused her with gasoline and set her on fire.

Investigators said the attack was sparked by a disagreement over a man.

Zimmerman was able to run to a nearby home and call 911 after the attack, investigators said. She was transported to a hospital in Mobile with severe burns across 60 percent of her body. She died two weeks later.

Brown's jury found her guilty and recommended the death penalty unanimously. Last week, the Florida Supreme Court denied Brown's appeal of the sentence and conviction.

Lee, 30, testified against Brown during the trial, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Miller, now 20, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2013 for her role in the attack. During her trial, Miller told Circuit Judge Gary Bergosh that the initial plan had been for her to fight Zimmerman, but that attack escalated out of control.

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/crime/2014/05/22/tina-brown-remains-death-row-brutal-murder/9442541/
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After two Death Row stints, mother of murdered 'Baby Lollipops' no longer faces execution
February 17, 2017 4:27 PM

Ana Maria Cardona, the Miami mother twice sentenced to execution for the torture and murder of her toddler son known as "Baby Lollipops," is no longer facing Death Row.

Prosecutors on Friday announced they will no longer seek the death penalty against Cardona for the horrific murder of Lazaro Figueroa in 1990.

The decision was made one year after the Florida Supreme Court, for the second time, threw out Cardona's death sentence and conviction, granting her a new trial more than two decades after the boy's battered body was found discarded in the bushes of a Miami Beach home.

Cardona, 55, now faces life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder at a third trial.

"We are determined to go yet a third time and seek justice for who we called Baby Lollipops," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said.

Her reprieve comes as Florida lawmakers in the coming weeks prepare to craft a new capital-punishment law to conform with a series of court rulings that left the state's death-penalty litigation in limbo.

In January 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Florida's capital sentencing system violated the Constitution because judges, not juries, meted out the ultimate punishment. For decades, Florida jurors had only had to give a majority recommendation on the death penalty.

The Legislature quickly passed a new law that required 10 of 12 jurors to agree on a death sentence. But the Florida Supreme Court soon overturned the law, saying it violated a defendant's right to a unanimous jury verdict.

Cardona's sentence was overturned in January 2016 for a different reason. Justices ruled that while there was plenty of evidence to convict Cardona, a prosecutor went overboard during her closing argument by repeatedly calling for "justice for Lazaro," arguments that "improperly inflamed the minds and passions of the jurors."

But the tumult over Florida's death penalty played into the state's decision to waive execution as punishment. Questions about whether a jury could unanimously agree on the death penalty were clear -- in Cardona's 2010 trial, only seven of 12 jurors agreed on the death penalty. At her first trial, jurors recommended death by an 8-4 vote.

Said Fernandez Rundle: "Unfortunately, as cases get old and stale, we're nowhere near an expectation of an unanimous verdict."

Miami-Dade Assistant Public Defender Steven Yermish, one of Cardona's lawyer, said it was the right call.

"Through two trials, the state never got close to what would be required now -- a unanimous vote," Yermish said. "I want to thank the state attorney for making what we believe is the correct decision, to not seek the death penalty."

The death of 3-year-old Lazaro was huge news in the early 1990s in South Florida. The boy, weighing just 18 pounds and badly beaten, was discovered dead in the bushes of a Miami Beach bayfront home in November 1990. Police detectives, at first unable to identify the boy, called him "Baby Lollipops" because of the design on the T-shirt he was wearing.

Soon, Miami Beach homicide detectives arrested Cardona, a cocaine addict who had lived in a Miami efficiency with her two other children and lover, Olivia Gonzalez Mendoza.

Gonzalez was the key witness at the 1992 trial, testifying that her lover bound and tortured the boy for months before using a baseball bat to fatally beat the boy. Cardona was sentenced to death, becoming the first woman in Florida to be sent to Death Row for the murder of her own child.

One decade later, the Florida Supreme Court overturned the conviction because prosecutors failed to disclose some of Gonzalez's statements about the crime. Gonzalez, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for her role in the case and served nearly half of a 40-year prison sentence, was freed in 2008.

Gonzalez was not called to testify at the 2010 retrial.

Instead, prosecutors relied on witnesses who described Cardona's erratic lifestyle and abusive behavior toward Lazaro, plus excruciating medical examiner testimony and photos that showed months of physical abuse -- a mangled arm, skull fractures, a cheek burn.

Also key: Cardona's statement to police, in which she admitted to dumping the boy's body in Miami Beach after, she said, he fell and hit his head on a bed. Defense lawyers argued that Cardona was coerced into the confession -- and shifted the blame to a mentally disabled teenage babysitter who confessed, then recanted, to the killing.

After the conviction, defense lawyers contended that Cardona's life should be spared because she was raised in Cuba by a mother who showed her no love, was sexually abused as a child and later found Christianity while behind bars.


http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article133422534.html
15
Death sentence upheld for Montebello woman who murdered her husband
February 20, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court unanimously upheld the death penalty Thursday for a Montebello woman convicted of murdering her husband for life insurance and implicated in the choking death years earlier of her baby daughter.

Angelina Rodriguez fatally poisoned her husband, a special education teacher, by serving him drinks laced with oleander and antifreeze in 2000, a few months after persuading him to take out joint life insurance policies, the court said.

It was her second attempt, according to the ruling written by Justice Ming W. Chin.  She had previously tried to kill him by loosening natural gas valves in their garage, the court said.

Rodriguez had married Jose Francisco Rodriguez several months before his death.

During her murder trial, the prosecution also presented evidence implicating her in the 1993 death of her 13-month-old daughter, Alicia. Rodriguez was married to another man at the time.

The baby died after choking on the rubber nipple of a pacifier. Two months earlier, Rodriguez had taken out a $50,000 life insurance policy on the baby--without her then-husband's knowledge--and made herself the beneficiary, the court said.

Rodriguez and Alicia's father also sued the manufacturer of the pacifier, which had been recalled based on five consumer complaints that it had broken apart. The company paid a $710,000 settlement.

While behind bars for the murder of her husband, Rodriguez  tried to dissuade a witness from testifying against her, the court said. The jury convicted of her interfering with the witness but failed to reach a verdict on a charge that she tried to have the witness murdered.

In challenging her conviction and sentence, Rodriguez argued, among other things, that the jury should not have been told she killed her daughter.  Rodriguez was not charged or convicted in connection with the death, but law enforcement reexamined it after the poisoning of her husband.

The court said the jury was entitled to hear about the child's death during the penalty phase of deliberations.

"There was ample evidence that defendant murdered her daughter," Chin wrote.

Karen Kelly, who is representing Rodriguez on appeal, said she would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision.

http://articles.latimes.com/2014/feb/20/local/la-me-ln-court-murder-20140220