Mother Sentenced For Injury to a Child


POSTED: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 11:22am

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 11:18am

Yara Perez already serving life in prison

The trial has wrapped up for the mother who killed her 3-year-old daughter Jacqueline. Last week, a jury found Yara Perez guilty of capital murder and injury to a child.

Five years after her death, her family says Jackie can finally rest in peace.

"Justice has been served and you get what you deserve and I think the people got what they deserved," said Jacqueline's grandfather, Tequila Gonzalez.

Those are the words from the family of 3-year-old Jacqueline Gonzalez who was beaten to death in 2007.

"We have been holding this monkey on our back. I'm gonna say we knocked it off so Jackie could rest up there in heaven... an angel," said Tequila Gonzalez.

Yara Perez was found guilty of capital murder and injury to a child in Jacqueline's death.

The capital murder conviction comes with an automatic life sentence without parole. On Tuesday, the jury added 35 years to her life sentence for the second conviction.

"We're disappointed that the jury on top of a life sentence felt compelled to give her an additional 35 year sentence," said Perez's attorney Joe Spencer. "If you look at the totality of all the evidence, there wasn't any evidence as to Yara contributing to the cause of this girls death."

Police found the girl's body in the trunk of Perez's car. Perez's boyfriend at the time, Francisco Casteneda is already serving a life sentence for the crime.

Perez cried after her sentence was announced.

"She has not stopped thinking about Jackie. She's not stopped thinking about her daughter. This is a parents worst nightmare. You lose your child. You lose your loved one at the hands of an abusive relationship and then you not only get blamed for causing the death of the child but you get convicted and the jury tells you caused the death of a child," said Spencer.

Elizabeth Gonzalez, Jacqueline's grandmother took the stand and begged to know why Jacqueline was killed. She said, "Maybe she will rest in peace, but I won't."

Perez's attorney Joe Spencer said he thinks there was no reason to go into a punishment phase.

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