Jury finds mother guilty of felony murder and injury by omission in death of 4-year-old girl
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Harris County jury has found a mother guilty of felony murder and injury by omission in the death of her 4-year-old girl.
The punishment phase will begin on Monday. Macial Sandoval will face up anywhere from five years to 99 years in prison for the death of her daughter, Betsabeth.
All this week, it's been an emotional roller coaster inside the courtroom. The defense for Sandoval says someone else is to blame. She sat quietly as closing arguments painted vastly different pictures of her role as mother to little Betsabeth Sandoval. The 4-year-old died last June.
Horacio Ramos is Betsabeth's father.
"Real sad, angry at the same time because I'm still wondering what the jury would do," Ramos said.
On Friday the focus was on Betsabeth's mother. Prosecutors say the little girl was found with numerous bruises, contusions, and other injuries in June 2011.
During her closing arguments on Friday, assistant district attorney Connie Spence told jurors, "Having a child, being a mother, is not a right, it is a privilege granted by God."
Ramos listened to the argument with tears in his eyes.
"Even though it's not going to bring my daughter's life back, I still want them to get the punishment they deserve," said Ramos.
But defense attorneys put the blame on Sandoval's partner, who they say was at home taking care of Betsabeth while Sandoval was away at work.
"She trusted the homemaker to take care of the home. Don't punish someone for being in love," said defense attorneys.
But Ramos says little Betsabeth deserves justice.
"People like that, I don't think they have a heart, to do something like that to their own child," he said.
The defense did not call any witnesses.
In closing arguments, the prosecution stated, "We knew this was going on before June 3rd. The medical examiner said this was going on way before June 3rd."
The defense says Sandoval was simply not aware of what was going on in the home, saying, "The child became increasingly difficult. She didn't know what the cause was."
Sandoval's partner is facing the same charges, and will face trial at a later date.
Stay with Eyewitness News and abc13.com for the latest on this story.
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